In 1998, the successful intravenous Iron therapy was introduced in Switzerland, which has now spread throughout Switzerland. Over a million iron deficiency patients have been treated with the help of over 10,000 physicians. Health insurance companies pay for this therapy because it meets the WZW criteria. (Swiss Medical Board with HTA of 2014). WZW stands for effectiveness, expediency and economic efficiency. A therapy is only paid by the health insurance companies if it meets the WZW criteria (KVG, art. 32).
Since 2015, the Swiss Government basically ignores the findings of the Swiss Medical Board from 2014 and is conducting a second examination of the Iron Therapy (HTA) with the intention of questioning health insurance coverage. In a first phase, 2015 and 2017 were informed that they would abide to the WZW criteria. In a second phase (summer 2018), however, Bern also said that, in contrast to the first phase, the evaluation of efficacy and expediency would be waived and only cost-effectiveness would be taken into account. This violates article 32 of the (Swiss) Health Insurance Act.
Therefore, from the point of view of the Swiss Iron Health Organisation SIHO, the Swiss government is no longer in a position to decide on the health insurance coverage of iron therapy. A decision from Berne against health insurance coverage without knowledge of the WZW criteria would not only violate the KVG, but would also be unethical in the highest degree, especially against women. Women can’t be held responsible for their menstruation with the regular loss of iron.
With regards to this problem, SIHO has placed an inquiry to Federal Councillor Alain Berset on October 4, 2018.
The Swiss Iron Board is a syndicate with a clear goal. We demand that the Swiss government complies with the WZW criteria in the iron HTA according to the KVG and the recommendations of the Federal Council, the FMH, the medical examiners (Vertrauensärzte), the Swiss Medical board and SIHO.