THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH and the body representing pharmaceutical manufacturers in Ireland remain deadlocked in talks for a new agreement on drug prices – almost two months after the previous deal expired.
The Irish Medical News reports that the last six-year deal between the State and the Irish Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association lapsed on March 1 – but that it has yet to be replaced, with both sides refusing to compromise on their respective demands.
It adds that the government is seen as being particularly keen to strike a better deal for itself, with the State paying almost €2 billion for drugs last year.
IPHA president David Gallagher told the IMN said the State was not adhering to the terms of its agreement, or the processes in place to ensure that both pricing and value criteria were satisfied.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said the existing agreement was being extended until the terms of a new one were agreed.
“Both the Department ofHealth and the HSE are committed to reaching a new agreement on pricing and supply of medicines with IPHA that meets the needs of patients and has regard to current financial constraints,” the spokesman said.
“We will continue to work on this.”