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Irish government strike deal with pharmaceutical companies re price of drugs

Posted on about 1 year ago by Gerry Kennedy

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The Irish government has struck a deal with pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding the price and supply of medicines, which is expected to save taxpayers €200 million each year.

The agreement will see pricing measures implemented which will realign community and hospital products’ prices to an average of ex-wholesaler price from 14 EU member states, including Germany, France and the UK.

Under the terms of the deal, the cost of biologics will be cut by 20% upon the availability of a biosimilar while generic competition for a branded product will see a 50% price cut for that originator.

In addition to the pricing features of the deal, there is said to be a new, clearer process for reimbursement by the Health Service Executive (HSE), which is responsible for the provision of public health and social care services in the country.

The framework of pricing will stand for the next four years and was agreed in conjunction with the government and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, says: “The government wants to ensure that Irish patients continue to have access to new and innovative medicines and that Ireland remains at the forefront of its European peers in terms of early access to medicines in an affordable manner and within available resources. As a result of this agreement with IPHA, the HSE will be in a much stronger position to meet the increasing demand for existing medicines and also to invest in new medicines over the next four years.”

Dr Leisha Daly, president of the IPHA, comments: “It is essential that patients have early access to life-saving and life-enhancing new medicines. This agreement is the best way to make that happen. It offers a clear process and sustainable pricing to that new medicines can be made available quickly to patients in Ireland.

“This is the largest single package of savings the pharmaceutical industry has ever delivered to the state. We worked hard on all aspects of pricing to respond with a commercially-viable, substantial package.”