Protest for diabetes treatment of children



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500 people demonstrated for health insurance reimbursement for short-acting insulin analogs in type I diabetes.

(24.05.2010) Around 500 people followed the call of the non-profit diabetic association "diabetesDE" and demonstrated for the reimbursement of statutory health insurers of short-term insulin analogues for children and adolescents who suffer from type I diabetes. Emissaries of the protest march handed over a petition with over 5000 signatures to the Federal Ministry of Health. The demonstration was supported by parent initiatives, doctors and self-help groups.

The background to the protest is a current opinion procedure by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). The G-BA recently stated in a report that there is supposedly no longer any reason to have the costs of short-term insulin analogues for diabetic type I patients reimbursed by the statutory health insurance companies. If this decision becomes legally binding, the patients treated with it must be switched to human insulin.

25,000 children in Germany have type I diabetes. About half of the young patients use the short-acting analog insulin. Around 25,000 children and adolescents in Germany have type I diabetes. In Germany, more than half of the sick young patients use the short-acting analog insulin. The young people can make their daily routine as flexible as possible. Children in particular need plenty of scope for development and freedom. Due to the rapid onset of action of the short-acting insulin analogs, sports activities and games can be perceived quickly and spontaneously. Children with insulin pump therapy can administer the appropriate dose several times a day at the push of a button. This makes the day child-friendly and flexible. So explained Professor Dr. med. Thomas Danne from "diabetesDE" and President of the German Diabetes Society: "For most families, analog insulin is not affordable out of their own pocket. But converting all children to reimbursable human insulin would be associated with complications."

Hopes for further funding of analog insulin. But there are hopes that the Federal Ministry of Health will not follow the G-BA's recommendations. As early as 2008, the Ministry of Health had rated a change to other insulin as "unreasonable for sick children and their parents". This partially contradicted the recommendations of the B-BA. In a new opinion procedure by the Federal Joint Committee in February 2010, it was again argued that analog insulin is more expensive than human insulin therapy. For this reason, analog insulin treatment should no longer be reimbursed, the Federal Committee said. But the organizers of the demonstrators are pleased with the lively participation of many people from all over Germany and rate the demonstration as a success. "The austerity policy cannot be at the expense of those who have been diagnosed with the chronic type I diabetes in their early years," said Dr. Dietrich Garlichs, managing director of "diabetesDE". A public statement by the Federal Ministry of Health is expected next week. (sb)

Also read:
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Diabetes: Prevention is becoming increasingly urgent
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