Now many pregnant women who are insured in Switzerland could benefit from the PrenaTest®. As the first non-invasive prenatal test in Europe for the detection of chromosomal disorders from maternal blood it will be reimbursed by the statutory health insurance (OKP) in Switzerland starting July 15, 2015. This decision was made by the Federal Department of Home Affairs (EDI) on recommendation of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG).
The OKP will cover the costs for the PrenaTest® for pregnant women from the twelfth week of pregnancy, in which a first trimester test has determined an increased risk of at least 1:1000 for the trisomies 21, 18 and 13. In comparison to invasive diagnostic procedures, the PrenaTest® does not present a risk of procedure-related miscarriage. Therefore the BAG expects that the number of performed invasive examinations will significantly be reduced.
“We are very pleased that the PrenaTest® is now available to many affected women in Switzerland. This was a very important goal,” Dr. Michael Lutz, CEO of LifeCodexx AG, comments on the decision of the EDI. “Applications for inclusion of the test in the OKP have already been made by the end of 2013. The positive decision of the Swiss authorities is a clear confirmation that the safe and reliable examination method has proven itself in very short time and is now fully accepted by the doctors. To date, approximately 5,000 pregnant women in Switzerland have already opted for PrenaTest®.”
This is the first time worldwide that non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) are covered by a state-based health system as part of general health care. In spring 2015, LifeCodexx AG concluded an agreement with Helsana, the leading Swiss health and accident insurer to cover the high-quality PrenaTest® for pregnant women insured by Helsana.
In Germany, the PrenaTest® could become a standard benefit of statutory health insurance programs on a trial basis. To date, it has been paid for by more than 50 private and statutory health insurance programs in Germany and Switzerland in many individual cases. More than 2000 gynecologists in German-speaking countries already offer the PrenaTest® to affected pregnant women.