Diet and sports: CNS limits reimbursement for diabetes drugs

The CNS is introducing a new response to the shortage of medication for type 2 diabetes in Luxembourg. Given the growing popularity of the use of the drug for weight loss purposes, experts worried that there would not be enough medication for those who really needed it.

Diet and sports: CNS limits reimbursement for diabetes drugs

At the beginning of March, the Ministry of Health has already tried to limit the use of Ozempic among healthy people: at that time a circular was sent out to the doctors of the Grand Duchy, clarifying that the drug can not be used for weight loss and it can not be prescribed to those who do not suffer from insulin-related disorders.

Now the state medical organization came up with a new approach in an attempt to avoid a full-scale crisis in the pharmaceutical market. With the ongoing absence of drugs on the shelves, the CNS imposed a new mandatory rule for the cost of the medication to be covered by health insurance.

Drugs included in ATX code A10BJ02 (liraglutide) or A10BJ06 (semaglutide) used to treat type 2 diabetes will only be reimbursed if they are prescribed, dispensed and used as intended. The doctor writing the prescription must now indicate on the prescription scope of usage in compliance with the indications listed on the marketing authorization.

The lack of healthcare insurance reimbursement may help balance the demand for the drug in the country. On average, one syringe pen with four doses costs about 80 euros.

Formerly, the cost of medication was covered by CNS from 88 to 100 percent. However, from now on, people who buy medicine to lose weight, and who were firstly not deterred by the long list of side effects and contraindications, will have to pay for such a "celebrity" method of losing weight out of their own pocket.

How are medications reimbursed under the health insurance system in the Grand Duchy? Read our article to find out — Health insurance in Luxembourg.

Ozempic is a drug that contains semaglutaid and is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by stimulating insulin and lowering blood glucose levels. Although some patients may notice weight loss with Ozempic, this product has not been approved for use as a weight-loss treatment.

Ozempic may cause unwanted side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, drowsiness, and fatigue. More serious side effects can include hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and occasional pancreatitis or even can provoke thyroid cancer.

The changes in coverage for diabetes medications, of course, will not affect those who need the drug vitally. The Ministry of Health is attempting to balance the pharmacological crisis, which began because of the popularization of anti-diabetic spectrum drugs for weight loss.