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Regulation of health-related technologies in Germany

Perleth M, Busse R, Schwartz FW

Health Policy 46(2): 105-126




Against the background of a financial crisis and supposed inefficiencies due to inappropriate use or the use of ineffective technologies in the German health care system, increasing awareness of the role of coverage decisions and the use of health technologies has stimulated interest in the regulation of health technologies. A systematic analysis of the decision processes at the levels of licensing/market admission, coverage by statutory health insurance and steering of diffusion and usage reveals considerable inconsistencies in different health care sectors. With regard to different types of technology, an explicit licensing procedure conforming to international standards is required for drugs and medical devices. Concerning coverage decisions, the ambulatory sector appears to be much more regulated than the in-hospital sector. This applies also to diffusion and usage of technologies. However, steering of usage of health related technologies is generally weak in Germany since only non-binding guidelines are in place.

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