New supply agreement to ensure patients have timely access to new medicines


       Medicine prices to drop in deal worth over €400 million


The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) today announces a very significant new Supply Agreement which will ensure that new medicines are made available to Irish patients.  The Agreement was reached with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive.


According to David Gallagher, outgoing President who led the negotiations on behalf of IPHA, “Ireland has a strong record in ensuring that patients can access new advanced therapies.  This new Agreement provides assurance for Irish patients that they will be able to get new medicines when they become available.  Medicines are a key pillar of any advanced health system and medical innovation has extended life expectancy through reducing illness and death. Many patients are in need of new, advanced medicines in areas such as Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis, cancer, stroke prevention, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.” 


The Agreement will provide over  €400 million in savings, reducing State expenditure on medicines through the various state schemes and also providing patients who pay for their medicines with significant savings on hundreds of medicines. This is in addition to reductions of €600 million provided by pharmaceutical companies since 2006.


Expenditure on medicines has been falling since 2009 and is now fifth lowest in Europe at 11.7%[1] - despite an increasing level of medicine usage. The level of savings delivered since 2006 has impacted on the Irish operations of pharmaceutical companies and these savings agreed today will undoubtedly have further impact. 


Orlaith Brennan, Commercial Affairs Director of the IPHA said “We understand the enormous fiscal challenges facing the country, but it is important to ensure that patient’ needs and expectations can continue to be met. This deal offers value and savings to the State and patients, and ensures that the full range of modern therapeutically advanced medicines continue to be available to Irish patients in spite of current economic difficulties”.




12th  October, 2012




Notes for Editors


The main points of the Agreement are:


  • The Agreement will run for 3 years
  • A process has been agreed to ensure that Irish patients will have timely access to new products over the period of the Agreement and are not disadvantaged due to current fiscal difficulties.
  • On patent expiry, the price to the wholesaler of a medicine will be reduced to 70% of the original price. 12 months following this price reduction, the price to the wholesaler will be reduced to 50% of the original price.
  • For existing patent expired medicines, the price to the wholesaler will be reduced to 60% of the original price on 1st November 2012. This will be followed by a further reduction to 50% of the original price to the wholesaler 12 months later.
  • A once off downward price realignment will apply to the currency-adjusted average price to the wholesaler in the nominated EU member states on all on patent medicines and off patent unique medicines.

About IPHA

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) represents the international research based pharmaceutical industry in Ireland. Its members include both manufacturers of prescription medicines and non-prescription or consumer health care medicines as well as companies that supply vaccines given to the Irish population.

Today people in Ireland live longer, healthier and more active lives, in part, due to medical progress and pharmaceutical and vaccines research and development. Not only is the pharmaceutical industry critical to the health of the nation, it plays a critical and substantial role in the Irish economy.

For further information contact Philip Hannon on 6630933 or 087 2870891



[1] IMF World Economic Outlook April 2012; Economist Intelligence Unit Healthcare Projections June 2012; Business Monitor International Pharma Projections May 2012


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