Insurance reimbursements for medical cannabinoid products in Germany continued to grow in the first quarter of 2023, showing that Europe’s largest economy continues to see a gradual expansion of its cannabis industry – now one of the largest in the world, according to MJBizDaily.
Reimbursements reached roughly 51 mn euros in the January-March quarter, according to the latest data from the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband).
That marks a 6.5% increase compared to the same period last year, but it’s a small decline compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
Almost 99,000 prescriptions were filled in the quarter. The dried-flower segment consisted of 21.1 mn euros in sales.
Finished pharmaceutical products, a category consisting of products such as Sativex and Epidolex, recorded sales of 13.1 mn euros.
According to Barmer, the health insurer received 14,986 applications for reimbursement between March 2017 and January 2022. Of those, the company approved 10,255, or 68%.
For comparison, Canada’s regulated market recorded medical cannabis sales of 98 million Canadian dollars ($72 million) in the same quarter, according to Statistics Canada data.
Germany’s reimbursement data does not include private prescription sales, which are paid out of pocket by patients.
Applications for reimbursement of medical cannabis expenses by Germany’s second-largest health insurer doubled from 2017 to 2019, signaling robust growth in the use of the drug.
Flower remained one of the most prescribed cannabis products, according to data provided in a new release by German insurer Barmer.
Assuming trends witnessed by Barmer are representative of the overall market, the data paints a more complete picture of Germany’s growing medical cannabis sector in lieu of free-flowing data from the country’s federal health regulator.
That means German medical cannabis sales were higher than 55.6 million euros, although the country doesn’t have an exact figure.