Reassessment of reimbursement status of medicines for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders

11 January 2011

On 22 December 2009, the Danish Medicines Agency announced that it would begin reassessing the reimbursement status of medicines in ATC group N (nervous system) starting with the ATC subgroup N06A (antidepressants). See link to the announcement in the factbox to the right.

Several of the medicines in ATC group N06A are also authorised for the treatment of anxiety disorders. As part of its work with recommending reimbursement status for antidepressants, the Committee has therefore recommended that the reimbursement status of a number of other medicines in ATC group N – outside subgroup N06A – indicated to treat anxiety disorders be reassessed concurrently. Furthermore, a few other medicines used to treat depression are also included. The active substances are:

In the group of antiepileptics (N03):

  • pregabalin (N03AX16)

In the group of antipsychotics (N05A):

  • acepromazine (N05AA04)
  • quetiapine (N05AH04)
  • lithium (N05AN01)

In the group of anxiolytics (N05B):   

  • diazepam (N05BA01)
  • chlordiazepoxide (N05BA02)
  • oxazepam (N05BA04)
  • lorazepam (N05BA06)
  • bromazepam (N05BA08)
  • clobazam (N05BA09)
  • alprazolam (N05BA12)
  • hydroxyzine (N05BB01)
  • buspirone (N05BE01)   

The Reimbursement Committee discussed the reassessment of reimbursement status of antidepressants on its meeting on 21 September 2010. Several of the above-listed medicines are mentioned or recommended in clinical guidelines such as the Danish National Board of Health's clinical guidelines and the Danish College of General Practitioners' guidelines for unipolar depression and anxiety disorders as well as in the National Recommendation List. Consequently, the Committee has decided to include these drugs in their reassessment. You can see the material in Danish from the Reimbursement Committee's reassessment meetings here. The Reimbursement Committee has, furthermore, been presented with the clinical guidelines from the Danish National Board of Health as well as any input that we have received.

Presently, we will solely reassess the reimbursement status of these drugs in relation to their use against anxiety disorders and depression, but will reassess their reimbursement status in relation to other diseases, e.g. epilepsy, at a later stage together with the other drugs in the ATC groups concerned.

Should the Reimbursement Committee recommend to change the reimbursement status for some of these medicines – or medicines in ATC group N06A, the recommendation of the Committee will be submitted for consultation to the affected companies, relevant scientific societies and relevant patient organisations. All affected parties have been informed that the above-mentioned substances will be included in the reassessment.

For further information, please contact the Reimbursement Department, Send an email.

Danish Medicines Agency, 11 January 2011