By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Germany’s health ministry said on Tuesday any changes to a law that keeps the health insurance system from paying for weight-loss drugs were not on the agenda, dismissing remarks by an Eli Lilly executive that talks were afoot to relax the ban.

“There are currently no plans to change the policy on coverage of pharmaceuticals for weight loss,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement, responding to a request from Reuters.

The policy affects Germany’s statutory health plans, which are overseen by the state and which cover about 90% of people in Germany.

On Monday, Spiegel magazine cited Lilly executive Ilya Yuffa as saying representatives of the U.S. maker of obesity and diabetes drugs were in a “good dialogue” with the federal government to ease a ban on the public health system paying for weight-loss treatments.

In the interview, Yuffa added he was optimistic that an agreement could found.

Lilly’s weekly injection Mounjaro was approved in the European Union in December for weight loss in certain overweight or obese patients, when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.

European governments have so far taken a restrictive line on paying for highly popular new weight-loss treatments, which include Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy, out of concern for stretched health budgets, with Germany among the most stringent.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Matthias Williams)

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