Dr. James Reilly, T.D. Minister for Health and Mr. Alex White T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care in the Department of Health, today (22 May 2013) welcomed the passing of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012 through both Houses of the Oireachtas.
Minister Reilly said “This legislation gives effect to the commitment in the Programme for Government that reference pricing and greater use of generics would be introduced to reduce the State’s large drug bill and the cost to individuals of their medicines. It will promote price competition and deliver lower medicine prices for both the State and patients”.
Minister White added that “The Bill permits pharmacists to substitute medicines which have been designated as interchangeable by the Irish Medicines Board. It is only where the IMB is satisfied that a medicinal product satisfies all the conditions set out in the Bill that it can do so. To further enhance patient safety, the Bill allows a prescriber to indicate on a prescription that a branded interchangeable medicinal product should, for clinical reasons, not be substituted.”
The Bill will now be referred to the President for signature and is expected to be brought into operation next month.