Monday, July 15, 2024

June 2024 Milestones for Gemeinsame Bundesausschuss

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Gemeinsame Bundesausschuss (G-BA) reached several significant milestones that underscored its ongoing commitment to improving healthcare quality and access in Germany. These achievements reflect the G-BA’s dedication to evidence-based decision-making and collaborative efforts with healthcare stakeholders. The progress made during this month highlights key advancements in policy development, healthcare standards, and patient care initiatives.

The G-BA’s trial study “LIPLEG” on liposuction for lipedema stages I, II, and III is proceeding on schedule, with initial data being evaluated by an independent scientific institution. Complete results from the 12-month follow-up period are expected by December 2024, which will inform the G-BA’s decision on whether liposuction will be covered by statutory health insurance and for which stages. The G-BA will extend the current regulation allowing liposuction for stage III lipedema under certain conditions until a final decision is made. Dr. Monika Lelgemann emphasized the importance of this study for making a rapid decision on benefit entitlement. Lipedema, a severe fat distribution disorder primarily affecting women, currently relies on conservative treatments like lymphatic drainage, compression, and exercise therapy, which do not cure the disorder.

G-BA has acknowledged a significant additional benefit of the immunotherapy drug Dostarlimab for women with recurrent endometrial cancer, particularly when combined with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel, significantly extending survival in patients with high microsatellite instability. However, no additional benefit was found for Dostarlimab in women with initially diagnosed advanced endometrial cancer. Prof. Josef Hecken noted that such a high benefit rating is rare, having only been awarded to twelve other drugs since AMNOG evaluations began. This decision will inform pricing negotiations and future treatment protocols for Dostarlimab in Germany.

Gemeinsame Bundesausschuss

The Innovationsausschuss of G-BA has announced new funding opportunities for healthcare research projects and the development of medical guidelines, with application deadlines on October 22, 2024, and September 24, 2024, respectively. Funding is available for both open and specific calls, targeting areas such as sexually transmitted infections, health networks, gender-specific care, digital health adherence, and Long-COVID. An informational webinar will be held on July 16, 2024, to assist applicants with the process. Applications must be submitted electronically through the DLR Project Management Agency’s portal.

The Innovation Committee at the Federal Joint Committee published nine decisions regarding project results on June 21, 2024, recommending broad use of findings for projects like EsmAiL, which advanced the treatment of acne inversa, and Neo-CamCare, which evaluated the use of webcams in neonatal intensive care units. The EsmAiL project led to the creation of specialized centers for acne inversa, and its results will be considered for integration into new treatment methods and guidelines. Neo-CamCare demonstrated that webcams in NICUs reassured parents without increasing staff workload, and its results will be shared with relevant medical societies. All project results and decisions are available on the Innovation Committee’s website.
Starting on July , mammography screening for early breast cancer detection will be expanded to include women aged 70 to 75, previously available only to those aged 50 to 69. Women in the newly eligible age group can register for screening appointments without receiving a personal invitation by contacting regional central offices, as long as their last mammogram was at least 22 months prior. Dr. Monika Lelgemann of the G-BA emphasized that this extension, approved under radiation protection law, allows for up to three additional screening appointments and aims to provide earlier cancer detection opportunities. Contact details for registration can be found on the Mammography Screening Cooperation Community’s website, and further information is available in a G-BA brochure.

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