In Germany, statutory health insurance covers the costs of mistletoe therapy with the preparations abnobaVISCUM®, Helixor®, Iscador® and Iscucin® for all advanced, i.e. palliative, disease stages. This requires a prescription. The term "palliative tumour therapy" means that the disease cannot be cured, but that the therapy is aimed at alleviating the symptoms, improving quality of life and, if possible, extending survival time.
In an earlier stage of cancer, statutory and private health insurers can cover the costs, but are not required to do so. In exceptional cases, ie.g. to alleviate side effects such as therapy-related fatigue syndrome during or after chemotherapy, mistletoe preparations prescribed by a physician can be reimbursed.
In Austria, only Helixor® and Iscador® are approved. Austrian health insurance companies – depending on the type of health insurance – cover the costs for prescribed mistletoe preparations in the palliative situation and, with detailed justification, also in the adjuvant situation. Additionally, another mistletoe preparation, Isorel®, has so-called upright approval in Austria, so that it will be generally available there again from spring 2021.
In Switzerland, only Helixor® and Iscador® are approved. The costs for the mistletoe preparations, which are only available on prescription there, are covered by basic insurance if they are prescribed by a doctor.
If you have any questions regarding the approval of mistletoe preparations in other countries, please contact the respective manufacturer directly (Abnoba GmbH, Helixor Heilmittel GmbH, Iscador AG, Wala Heilmittel GmbH).
Last update: July 12th, 2021/AT1