Diabetes test strips regulation restricted

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Federal committee restricts diabetes test strips regulation

Diabetics who are not required to have insulin will have to pay for blood sugar and urine test strips out of their own pockets. As of October this year, there will probably no longer be any cost coverage by the health insurance companies. The Federal Joint Committee of pharmaceutical experts, doctors and health insurers agreed on Thursday. There is no medical benefit of self-measurement, the reasoned.

No reimbursement of test strips with oral therapy
Diabetes patients who are not required to take insulin but who are treated orally with medication will not receive a reimbursement of the costs for blood sugar test strips in the future. This was decided by the Federal Joint Committee made up of representatives from health insurance companies, pharmaceutical experts and doctors. The basis for this decision was an expert opinion from the Institute for Efficiency and Quality in Health Care (IQWiG). The institute came to the conclusion that diabetes test strips are not a medical indicator for diabetes treatment. In the future, doctors will only be able to prescribe test strips if, for example, the change in a special medicine means that blood values ​​have to be checked regularly in order to rule out any side effects. Continuous measurement of the values, however, does not bring any benefit in the sense of diabetes therapy. Of the approximately 4.5 million diabetes patients in Germany, around three million patients are affected by the new regulation.

Decision expected to apply from October 2011. The prescription exclusion should come into force from the fourth quarter of the 2011 cash register, as Dr. med. Rainer Hess confirmed. The restriction does not apply to patients who inject insulin. The health insurance companies will continue to reimburse this patient group, as the Federal Committee assured.

Test strips Reimbursement of costs in exceptional cases The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) in Berlin has created individual exemptions in which, despite oral therapy, the assumption of costs is still permitted. The exception applies, for example, to pregnant women who have gestational diabetes. If there is an unstable metabolic state, doctors can prescribe 50 test strips reimbursable, depending on the indicators. It is being discussed whether there is a first-class obligation for professional drivers or train drivers. Professional drivers are required by law to check blood sugar levels at regular intervals to ensure road safety. The Committee is of the opinion that it is not the task of health insurance companies to provide financial resources for this. According to patient associations, it should also be checked whether enrolled patients in the “Disease Management Program” are exempt from the regulations.

Patient groups and associations criticize prescription exclusion The measures are criticized primarily by patient associations and the diagnostic industry. So the association chairman said Martin Walger, the outcome of the G-BA was noted with concern. "Thousands of people affected by the dog are being deprived of the most important tool for self-management of their illness," criticized Walger. Now one hopes that the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) will give in. In the last instance, the Minister of Health can still overturn the decision. After all, diabetics without self-monitoring of blood sugar can no longer check whether their own lifestyle needs to be optimized using diets or exercise programs. "Without the test results, the treating doctor lacks an important basis for adjusting the therapy," warned Walger. The blood sugar test strips are not a drug, but an important diagnostic tool that provides the basis for sensible therapy, according to the position of the association's managing director.

Financial losses for manufacturers
It's also about a lot of money. The industry generates sales of around EUR 1.2 billion annually from the sale of test strips. If the strips are no longer considered to be cash benefits, manufacturers could suffer considerable losses. The health insurance companies currently provide around 900 million euros per year for urine and blood sugar test strips. (sb)

Also read:
Diabetes: Health insurance companies delete test strips
Diabetes: twelve risk factors decoded
Type II diabetes has an increased risk of cancer
Diabetes is not a fate

Image: Michael Horn / pixelio.de

Author and source information

Video: How to test for Glucose Diabetes using urine testing strips. Interpreting positive glucose results


  1. Aethelhard

    Directly in the apples

  2. Samurisar

    I mean, you allow the mistake. Write to me in PM, we'll talk.

  3. Fraser

    Just think about it!

  4. Dickson

    Now that's something like it!

  5. Baker

    It is conditionality, neither is it bigger, nor less

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