THE IRISH PHARMACEUTICAL Healthcare Association has responded to reports that the cost of drugs has come under particular scrutiny by Ireland’s bailout partners.
Although the representative body said it had not seen the leaked Troika documents, it pointed to a number of savings schemes that had been agreed over the past seven years.
In a statement, IPHA said, “While some of today’s media reports seem to point to OECD data from 2008, in the absence of the report, it remains unclear what the actual source of the figures are.
However, the Association acknowledges that prices were much higher in 2008, but there have been six significant price reductions undertaken since January 2009, the impact of which has not been analysed or reported in any of the recently published comparative studies.
“The research based industry has provided €400 million in savings in the recent supply agreement, which will result in a total saving to the State of €1 billion since 2006, together with access to the full range of innovative medicines for Irish patients.”
IPHA added that the calls for an increased use of generics will be met by forthcoming legislation, which will introduce reference pricing and generic substitution.
The European Commission document, seen by TheJournal.ie, suggests that the government puts in place a “claw-back mechanism” where a rebate is charged on pharmaceutical companies on a quarterly basis, as happens in other EU jurisdictions.
The Troika also outlined its belief that the health service should promote greater use of generic dugs and ensure prices of medications are more in line with other countries, highlighting the health service’s drugs bill is 34 per cent more per capita (individual person) terms than the EU average.
- additional reporting from Gavan Reilly