Budget 2018 Reaction:
Patients waiting for new medicines need a multi-annual solution
Ireland last in Western Europe for new medicines
New medicines need sustained new funding
10 October 2017
The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association has welcomed the reduction of prescription charges and the lowering of the Drugs Payment Scheme threshold in today.
However, it said today’s Budget offered no solution to Ireland being the last in Western Europe for the adoption of new medicines.
Chief Executive, Oliver O’Connor said,
“While the reduction out-of-pocket charges for medicines is welcome, the problem remains that patients in Ireland are not getting access the latest new medicines as fast as patients in Western Europe. Despite the fact that prices and spending levels are now at the average of 14 comparable EU countries, Ireland is behind Germany, the UK, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Spain in bringing new medicines to patients.”
“The Budget papers today acknowledge that IPHA Agreements deliver savings to the State. But as we saw this year, the absence of any clear additional Exchequer funding for medicines over and above the savings provided by the industry has led to serious delays in patients having access to medicines that are routinely available in most Western countries.”
“This problem must be addressed. First, the Government should set an objective of delivering medicines to patients as fast as the best in Europe. To support this, there needs to be a sustained and reasonable level of growth in Exchequer funding for new medicines, planned on a multi-annual basis. One Budget can’t solve this.
“New medicines need sustained new funding. Budget 2018 provides a 4.6% growth in health current expenditure – but as of yet, no indication of any new funding for new medicines. Any idea of zero or close to zero growth in funding for medicines will undermine the achievement of best outcomes for patients.”
“IPHA is ready and willing to work with the Government and HSE to achieve an objective of bringing new medicines to patients as fast as the best in Europe”.
Contact Philip Hannon on 087 2870891