New deal on medicines to save taxpayers millions – Burke

-   Senator Colm Burke

Fine Gael Senator for Cork North Central and Seanad Spokesperson on Health, Colm Burke, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the new agreement reached between the Government and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).

“The new deal agreed today between the Government and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) is really welcome, particularly considering Ireland has one of the highest cost of drugs in the OECD. In 2013 the cost of drugs here was 30% above the OECD average.   

“The cost of medicines and pharmaceuticals has increased from €570 million in 2000 to over €2.6 billion in 2015. This increase continued despite the fact that new legislation was introduced in 2013 to promote the use of generic drugs to patients.

“The new proposal reached with the Government provides for a reduction and total saving of over €785 million over the lifetime of the agreement, which is almost €200 million a year. 

“The agreement was reached with a total of 38 members of the IPHA, which include companies such as Novartis, Pfizer and Allergan. The agreement will also increase patient access to new medicines which is critically important to those who need them.

“This new agreement is most welcome and will offer certainty in the supply of medicine to patients and the medical professionals treating them on a day to day basis. As this certainty takes root and patient medicine becomes more affordable the Minister for Health may need to review the implementation of Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, which made generic drugs more available.” 

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