Run op weight loss medicine Saxenda


The weight loss medicine Saxenda, which has been reimbursed from the basic package since 1 April this year, is proving to be incredibly popular. The number of users is much higher than the Healthcare Institute, a government advisory body, had initially calculated. The rules for getting the drug reimbursed have therefore been tightened considerably.

Available separately
The Zorginstituut had initially calculated that some 250 Dutch people would use the drug in the first year, but health insurer Zilveren Kruis alone reimburses the drug for some 3,500 patients, the newspaper reports. Other insurers also report that the number of users is larger than expected.

What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is the first obesity treatment drug to be reimbursed from the basic package. It lowers blood sugar levels and is injected by patients into the upper leg, abdomen or upper arm. People who want to take the drug must have an extremely elevated health risk associated with their weight. These are people with a BMI of 35 and above who have cardiovascular disease, sleep apnoea or osteoarthritis, and people with a BMI above 40. The drug is only reimbursed if people take part in a so-called combined lifestyle intervention (GLI), where they are helped to exercise more and eat healthier.

Rules tightened
It now appears that, in practice, patients were initially not required to participate in GLI or only briefly before they were reimbursed for the drug, but this has now been changed. A person with obesity must now participate in the programme for at least a year before the drug is reimbursed.