An increasing amount of people in Germany are filling out applications for medical marijuana. Demand is swelling as health insurance companies are offering reimbursements.
According to a media report published on Wednesday, over 13,000 patients have applied for medical marijuana prescriptions in Germany. The report uses a survey of three health insurance companies to come to its conclusion: Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK), Barmer and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK).
This comes just ten months after medical marijuana was legalized in Germany.
The report states that a majority of the applications were received by AOK, but all three insurance companies exhibited a similar approval rate. AOK and TK both approved at a rate of 64 percent. Barmer, on the other hand, approved applications at a rate of 62 percent.
Rejected Applications not a Dead-end for Patients
A spokesperson from AOK stated that two-thirds of the cases are usually approved. However, this does not mean the others have been rejected. Applications aren’t always complete, and prospective patients have the opportunity to resubmit.
In addition, some patients apply for medical marijuana with ailments that are not usually treated with medical marijuana. The spokesperson says,
“Occasionally, these are cases of herniated discs which have so far only been treated with heat therapy.”
Before legalization, only 1000 people in Germany could use medical cannabis. The legalization bill predicted that 700 patients per year would apply for prescriptions. But when the bill was drafted, it was almost impossible to estimate how many patients would be in need.
For the federal government’s drug commissioner, high demand is a good thing for the country. Marlene Mortler says,
“The increasing number of authorizations shows how important it was to get this law under way last year.”