Ipilimumab is primarily used for metastatic melanoma treatment. But a discrepancy exists in the global availability of this innovative medicine. The establishment of the correlation requires economic parameters as well as healthcare system performance parameters to solve the issue of market access to such medicines
The unavailability of Ipilimumab in the home country depends upon many factors, like import restrictions, national drug preference and regulations, pharmaceutical interest in distribution to a particular country, and requirements to use domestic pharmaceuticals.
Medical tourism is one of the ways to travel in the country where ipilimumab is approved and available in the pharmaceutical market to treat patients. But this is not an easy task, specifically during this COVID-19 pandemic situation.
In such a condition, the patient can get ipilimumab with the help of their treatment doctor through the ‘Name Patient Program’ (NPP). The patient can access the pre-approved drug in a controlled manner in response to the request by their treatment doctor on behalf of ‘specific patients before the medicine is licensed in the patient’s home country.
Through NPP, patients can also get the medications that are approved but commercially unavailable in the patient’s country, or approved and available in one country, but not approved and available in the patient’s country, or the medicines that are discontinued in the patient’s country, but not another, short supply in the patient’s country but no in another.
Therefore, if the treatment doctor requests ipilimumab on behalf of the patient through NPP, then it is a higher chance to get the medicine in the home country where ipilimumab is not available.