CureApp, Inc. (Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Kohta Satake) has announced that CureApp SC Nicotine Addiction Treatment App and CO Checker (hereafter, CureApp SC) – a treatment app (digital therapeutic) targeting nicotine addiction – is now covered by Japan’s public healthcare insurance system as of December 1, 2020, following a period of clinical trials and regulatory approval.
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CureApp SC, Digital Therapeutic for Nicotine Addiction Introducing a New Form of App-based Prescription Treatment The First Digital Therapeutic to be Covered by Japan’s Public Healthcare Insurance System (Photo: Business Wire)
This marks the first case of a digital therapeutics application being covered by the insurance, as well as the first time that a digital therapeutic in the field of smoking cessation treatments has been covered by a country’s national health insurance system in the world. Patients diagnosed with nicotine addiction at a medical institution are eligible for insurance reimbursement when a doctor prescribes CureApp SC. Under this scheme, patients spend less than 30% of the cost of this product.
Current Japanese public health insurance system and the implication of the approval
Japan has a universal health insurance system that gives all residents the freedom to choose treatment locations. It also enables them to receive the same level of healthcare at a low cost. However, due to the broad scope of such a system – with coverage provided for all residents – the criteria applied for digital therapeutics and other new forms of treatments to receive approval as insured treatments are particularly strict. Therefore, a new treatment to receive such approval has been thought to be significantly difficult compared to do so from private insurance companies. Amidst these circumstances, CureApp has succeeded in leveraging its unique strengths to usher in a new era of treatment, and the achievement has been widely reported by Japanese media.
About CureApp, Inc.
CureApp, founded in 2014 by two physicians, is the leading digital therapeutics company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. We develop evidence-based software programs in therapeutic areas such as nicotine addiction (regulatory-approved/reimbursed), hypertension (completing phase III trial), Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, NASH, (under clinical trial), alcohol reduction (under clinical trial), and cancer management (in partnership with DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY). CureApp is the first company in the world to show clinical evidence in a randomized clinical trial, receive regulatory approval and reimbursement under universal healthcare coverage.