Medical drug-related death and injury compensation payments rise for first time in 20 years

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration has increased the value of payments for cases of injury or death related to the use of legally prescribed pharmaceuticals for the first time in 20 years, according to reports in Liberty Times and ET Today.

The FDA as of September 1, 2021 has amended the “Medicine Harm Relief Payment Standard” to increase both minimum and maximum relief payout for deaths and serious disorders caused by the use of legal drugs in accordance with a doctor’s prescription or under the instructions of a pharmacist.

In the case of serious adverse events resulting in death, the minimum relief payment has been increased from NT$1.6 million to NT$2.4 million, while the maximum has been raised from NT$2 million to NT$3 million.

The new values are only available for adverse events that occur after today, September 1, and for drug accidents that occurred before this date, the previous values shall apply, reports said.

In amending the provisions the FDA noted that the original values for drug harm relief payments had been set in 2001, and that social and economic conditions have changed significantly in the ensuing 20 years.

Food and Drug Administration personnel were quoted as saying that pharmaco-injury relief payments mainly provide payment for death, disability, and severe illness caused by the use of drugs. After and application is submitted, it usually takes 3 to 6 months to process. After investigating and collecting relevant evidence, applications are evaluated by the Drug Hazard Relief Review Committee to decide whether to grant benefits.

The FDA spokesperson said that the standard drug damage relief payment is only applicable to the use of legal drugs in accordance with the doctor’s prescription or pharmacist’s instructions, but unfortunately serious unexpected drug adverse reactions, such as serious illness, disability, or death, caused by vaccination are not applicable. If people need to seek relief due to adverse reactions caused by vaccination, they should apply to the Vaccination Victim Relief Review Panel (VICP) of the Department of Disease Control.

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