Food for Thought: Will IQWiG Go Medtech?

According to a report by Ärztezeitung, Germany’s healthcare cost watchdog IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care) is aiming to also bring the cost-benefit assessment of medical devices and procedures, such as operation techniques and laboratory diagnostics, under the scope of IQWiG and or G-BA, the highest decision-making body of the joint self-government of physicians, dentists, hospitals and health insurance funds in Germany.

Jürgen Windeler, head of IQWiG, told Ärztezeitung there was a “considerable discrepancy in terms of regulatory density” between drugs and all other therapeutic and diagnostic means in medicine. He therefore called for an early benefit assessment of these other methods, too, and suggested to start with medicinal products with the potential for causing a “health risk”.