Brazil: New Reimbursement System in the Works

The Brazilian National Congress’s Committee on Constitution and Justice and Citizenship has approved the incorporation of medical treatments and equipment into new reimbursement rules under the country’s public health care system, Unified Health System (SUS).

According to Emergo Group consultants in Brasilia as well as Brazilian press reports, the new proposal still requires presidential approval prior to implementation. The new rules will allow health care providers to submit requests for new treatments, drugs and devices to the SUS’s National Incorporation of Technologies unit for review; reviews should take no more than 270 days to complete, after which products gaining approval will be published in the SUS’s reimbursement tables. If the review period for a particular device exceeds the 270-day period, that device will be published by the SUS until the completion of the review.

Proponents of the measure in the Brazilian government have cited the need for clearer regulatory parameters in order to facilitate faster uptake and support of—and thus reimbursement for—new and better medical technologies by the SUS. (Current health care reimbursement rates in Brazil have been characterized as highly inadequate and cumbersome.)

Industry impact: Setting in place a more regimented and (hopefully) efficient reimbursement process in Brazil should make it easier for health care providers to utilize cutting-edge medical devices in their treatment regimens, boosting demand among public health system professionals now able to seek financial support from the government for such products.

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