In collaboration with the Reimbursement Committee, the Danish Medicines Agency has decided to change the practice for granting single reimbursement for hyaluronic acid.
As of 15 January 2012, we will only grant single reimbursement for hyaluronic acid in exceptional circumstances and not, as we have done thus far, to all patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
In the period up until 15 January 2012, we will introduce a time limit on single reimbursement grants for hyaluronic acid to patients with knee osteoarthritis.
In Denmark, hyaluronic acid is available as the two medicines Hyalgan® and Artz®, and they are used for patients with knee osteoarthritis for alleviating pain and improving the function of the knee joint.
Clinical studies of hyaluronic acid do not suggest any relevant effect of hyaluronic acid compared to placebo (dummy pills). Therefore, the public sector will no longer provide reimbursement for this treatment.
Who is affected?
In 2010, approximately 1,500 patients bought hyaluronic acid at Danish pharmacies, and they received around DKK 2.6 million in reimbursement. Patients treated with hyaluronic acid should consult the doctor treating them to find out what to do.
Revocation of reimbursement grants
Simultaneously with the changed practice, we are going to revoke all valid reimbursement grants for single reimbursement for hyaluronic acid. All affected patients will receive a letter informing about the revocation within the next few days. The reimbursement grants will be revoked with effect from 15 January 2012
We have informed all Danish practices specialising in rheumatology and orthopaedic surgery about the change, as many of the patients using hyaluronic acid are being treated by these specialist practices. You can find this letter in the box to the right (in Danish only).
All relevant scientific societies, patient organisations and the Association of Danish Pharmacies will also be informed of the upcoming changes.