Dutch Government Just Says No

Sep 01, 2002

Spurred by concerns about rising drug expenditures, the Netherlands' government has introduced a list of "lifestyle" medicines that it intends to stop covering with its basic health insurance. It believes it should not have to pay for medi-cines for conditions brought on by unhealthy lifestyles, such as smoking and poor diet.

But plans to include cholesterol-reducing products on the list have worried the College voor Zorgverzekeringen (the Healthcare Insurance Board) which advises the government. The board has issued a report on statins, saying that their use should remain a part of basic health insurance because of their long-term preventive benefits.

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