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High demand of popular obesity drug Saxenda; May be going to “wrong” patients

Nederlands Nieuws

High demand of popular obesity drug Saxenda; May be going to “wrong” patients

Since April of this year there has been a high demand for the obesity drug Saxenda. The weight-loss pill may have been prescribed to the wrong patients. The Healthcare Institute of the Netherlands Zorginstituut Nederland (ZIN) had already been warned before the introduction, the Dutch newspaper AD reports.

According to the newspaper, the number of users of the slimming drug Saxenda is much larger than the ZIN had estimated. Since April 1, the drug has been covered by basic insurance for the treatment of people with serious obesity.

According to the Zorginstituut it was initially planned that about 250 Dutch people would use the medicine in the first year, rising to 657 in the third year. However, Dutch health insurance company Zilveren Kruis alone reimburses the medicine for about 3,500 patients, AD reports.

Other Dutch health insurance companies, such as the VGZ and CZ also report that the number of users is greater than expected and that the number of Saxenda users is higher than expected based on the calculations of the ZIN.

Saxenda, the drug that aims to reduce the feeling of hunger, is the first anti-obesity drug to be reimbursed from the basic package.

The obesity pill is supposed to help patients with a BMI of 40 or higher or with a BMI of 35 and an underlying disease such as osteoarthritis cardiovascular disease or are eligible for reimbursement. But it is only reimbursed if people participate in a so-called combined lifestyle intervention (GLI), in which they are helped with more exercise and healthier eating.

However, patients initially did not have to participate or only for a short time before they were reimbursed for the medicine, but that has been adjusted, reports AD. Now, someone with obesity must participate in the program for at least a year before the drug is reimbursed.

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