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Health Ministers announce reduction in cholesterol medicine pricing

Patients can expect to save up to 70 per cent on cholesterol medication from today.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via Photocall Ireland

THE COST OF cholesterol medication will drop dramatically today, along with over 500 other medicines.

Both the Minister for Health James Reilly and his Junior Minister Alex White today announced that prices for atorvastatin products, which are used to control cholesterol, will drop today.

The price reductions are the result of the introduction of reference pricing under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

The reference price is the price the HSE will reimburse to pharmacies for groups of interchangeable medicines. Atorvastatin products were addressed first because they are the highest cost group of products reimbursed by the HSE.

The HSE is now setting a reference price for esomeprazole products – used for the treatment of stomach conditions – and it is planned that prices for this group of products will be put in place by the beginning of December.

Reilly said that the move represents a “major step” in bringing savings to taxpayers.

“The new reference prices for atorvastatin products means the HSE now pay 70 per cent less for these products compared to May 2013.

Patients will save on the cost of their medication and taxpayers will benefit from the reduced prices paid by the HSE.

White added “The introduction of reference prices will ensure that generic medicine prices in Ireland will fall towards European norms. It will safeguard value for money for the taxpayer and will mean that prices are set at levels which facilitate – not jeopardise – supply of these products in Ireland.”

Read: People with a genetic history of stress feel more pain – study

Read: ‘It is a balancing act’: Reilly apologises over medical card problems

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