The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) routinely performs assessments of treatment methods that are included as a benefit in within the Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) in Germany. For this, it can request Health Technology Assessment (HTA) reports by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).
Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a therapeutic method that uses a vacuum dressing to promote healing of chronic or acute wounds, for instance heavy burns and diabetic ulcers. For this, sub-atmospheric pressure is applied to the wound environment with the help of a vacuum pump which is connected to the sealed wound dressing. The use of NWPT in wound management has increased significantly in the past years.
In April 2017, the G-BA decided to re-assess the use of NWPT. For this purpose, it charged the IQWiG with the task to prepare an HTA report about the benefit of NWPT compared to conventional wound treatment methods. The comparison of different NWPT methods among each other are not in the scope of the method. A report with similar research questions has been performed in 2016 and updated in 2017. The new report will assess the new evidence that was published since then. Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) will be included as relevant scientific literature in the benefit assessment.
NWPT is currently reimbursed without limitations in the inpatient sector in Germany. The new evaluation report by IQWiG will support the G-BA’s decision about further inclusion of the method within the statutory health insurance in Germany.
The final project plan by IQWiG is available in German here.
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