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Thursday, May 30, 2013

CMS Says 'No' to Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Depression

CMS Says 'No' to Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Depression

Caroline Cassels

May 30, 2013
Medicare patients with treatment-resistant depression will not have access to vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy, according to a recent decision by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In a company release, the VNS device manufacturer, Cyberonics, Inc., announced that the CMS had declined its request for approval and stated it was "very disappointed in the position taken by CMS that new evidence accumulated over the past 5 years and recently published in 4 peer-reviewed journals does not support reconsideration of the non-coverage decision."

"We believe the total body of evidence that began appearing in the scientific literature in 1998 presents compelling rationale for access to VNS therapy in a very ill subpopulation of Medicare beneficiaries," Cyberonics' president and CEO Dan Moore said in the company release.

"The company plans to work with other interested parties to continue to pursue access to this important therapeutic option for patients who could benefit from VNS Therapy, including carefully evaluating all options for appealing this decision," Moore added.

The VNS Therapy System has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of refractory epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression.


1 comment:

  1. Sharon StrugnellMay 31, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I am still alive because of the VNS stimulator. It took a good bit of time to work but I am now happier then ever in my life since I had the surgery. I too am a study subject and worry every day about my battery going dead. There is no where to turn and I find it unfair that I may someday be back to where I started without this device. Help.