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German government demands two doctors approve prescribing of expensive drugs

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2292 (Published 28 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2292
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. 1Heidelberg

    Patients in Germany with pulmonary arterial hypertension will need two doctors to sign their prescriptions from next year before their health insurance will cover the cost of expensive drug treatments, which range from €11 000 (£8700; $14 000) for sildenafil to €110 000 for iloprost.

    This rule, which affects about 4000 patients with hypertension, will also be applied in due course to the treatment of cancer of the large bowel and other conditions.

    The federal joint committee, which is composed of doctors, health insurance companies, and patients’ representatives, decides which treatments will be reimbursed by the state health insurance companies. It has called …

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