FMT Fecal Microbiota Transfer (FMT) in Germany – Status and Perspective (May 2023)

Fecal Microbiota Transplants

Fmt2024

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37187187/
https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/a-2075-2725

In Germany, FMT is used less frequently than in the European comparison. One application hurdle is the regulatory classification of FMT as a non-approved drug, which leads to significantly higher costs in manufacturing and administration and makes reimbursement difficult. The European Commission recently proposed a regulation to classify FMT as a transplant. This could prospectively change the regulatory situation of FMT in Germany and thus contribute to a nationwide offer of a therapeutic procedure recommended in guidelines.

Abstract​

Introduction:
Fecal microbiota transfer (FMT) is a treatment to modulate the gastrointestinal microbiota. Its use in recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI) is established throughout Europe and recommended in national and international guidelines. In Germany, the FMT is codeable in the hospital reimbursement system. A comprehensive survey on the frequency of use based on this coding is missing so far.

Material and methodology:
Reports of the Institute for Hospital Remuneration (InEK), the Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS), and hospital quality reports 2015-2021 were examined for FMT coding and evaluated in a structured expert consultation.

Results:
Between 2015 and 2021, 1,645 FMT procedures were coded by 175 hospitals. From 2016 to 2018, this was a median of 293 (274-313) FMT annually, followed by a steady decline in subsequent years to 119 FMT in 2021. Patients with FMT were 57.7% female, median age 74 years, and FMT was applied colonoscopically in 72.2%. CDI was the primary diagnosis in 86.8% of cases, followed by ulcerative colitis in 7.6%.

Discussion:
In Germany, FMT is used less frequently than in the European comparison. One application hurdle is the regulatory classification of FMT as a non-approved drug, which leads to significantly higher costs in manufacturing and administration and makes reimbursement difficult. The European Commission recently proposed a regulation to classify FMT as a transplant. This could prospectively change the regulatory situation of FMT in Germany and thus contribute to a nationwide offer of a therapeutic procedure recommended in guidelines.
 
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