MS patients fear end reimbursement medication

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No image availableNL Times

MS patients fear an important medication for their condition will soon no longer be reimbursed. The MS society Netherlands picked up signals that the Health Care Insurance Board (CVZ) will recommend Minister Edith Schippers (Health) in the near future to withdraw the drug from the insurance, reported association director Jacqueline Solleveld Wednesday.

Some 950 of the roughly 16,000 MS patients get the drug natalizumab administered by infusion once a month, because other drugs do not work for them. Given the high price it's not an option to pay out-of-pocket.

Wilfredo Rodriguez
Wikimedia commons

Especially with a debilitating disease like MS, for which only a limited number of drugs is on the market, its accessibility is important to every patient, states Solleveld. Natalizumab may reduce MS symptoms and slow down disease progression. According to the Association it sometimes literally gets patients out of their wheelchairs.

All options are still open, according to a CvZ spokesperson. The drug is being reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board. Four years ago it was decided to temporarily allow natalizumab, and as agreed it is now under review again. There was no special reason to reconsider reimbursement of the drug.