Promising anti-migraine medication will not be reimbursed Belgian Minister of Health says
Saturday, 10 August 2019
INAMI is the Belgian federal public body of medical and social security. Credit: Belga
Aimovig, a medication to treat particularly painful migraines, will not be reimbursed by the Belgian government.
Saturday’s Het Nieuwsblad reported patients and specialists were very disappointed about this decision.
Patients who suffer from migraines have been talking about this medication for years. Tests showed that Aimovig is particularly effective for some patients.
“We found some patients who normally suffered from bad headaches for 20 days only got migraines for an average of six days,” claimed neurologist Koen Paemeleire (UGent).
The treatment has very few side effects but is very expensive as it costs 500 to 1,000 euros a month. Many patients hoped the government would reimburse the medication through social security.
The Inami revealed that “Health and Social Affairs minister Maggie De Block (Open Vld) decided against” reimbursing Almovig. There is no question the medication works, but the government and Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company that produces the medication, were not able to agree on financing. The minister herself did not want to comment.
“We had actually put forward a realistic financial proposal,” says Mr Paemeleire. “Only patients who had tried at least two other treatments with no success would have been reimbursed.”