The decision by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D. to publish the Mazars Report today has been welcomed by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association as a positive step towards providing Irish patients with faster access to life-changing new medicines.
IPHA, which represents the major international biopharmaceutical companies in Ireland, commended the Minister’s decision to publish the report and to establish a Working Group to review and improve the reimbursement system for new medicines.
The organisation recognised that the initiative is the first of its kind since the passage of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, describing it as a valuable opportunity for key stakeholders, including industry and patient groups, to contribute to improved patient care and health outcomes.
IPHA said the Working Group’s role in reviewing and improving the reimbursement process was especially important considering the many new advances in science and the potential to raise standards of patient care through faster access to newer and better medicines and treatments.
It applauded the Minister’s decision to act immediately to enhance transparency in the reimbursement system through the introduction of a tracker system and indicative timelines, stating that it would result in better planning and management of applications for medicine reimbursement.
IPHA said it welcomed the opportunity to engage in the Working Group, to present its own reform proposals and to hear the view of other stakeholders. It stated, “We will put forward ideas in good faith and will also listen to what is asked of us. Our members are very conscious of industry’s responsibilities to improve the process in a collaborative way. We will:
IPHA said there were “many other practical steps that can be taken to improve the processes that fully respect the HSE’s obligations under the 2013 Health Act. We will study the Mazars Report carefully and provide any observations arising from it to the Minister”.
Michael O’Connell, IPHA President said: “Over the past three budgets, the Government has allocated almost €100 million to new medicines. The announcement today is a further indication of the Minister’s continued commitment to ensure that patients have faster access to new, innovative medicines. I thank the Minister for driving this reform and bringing all stakeholders together in doing so”.
Oliver O’Connor, IPHA Chief Executive, said: “IPHA knows that constructive dialogue is essential for meaningful reform to be delivered. We look forward with confidence to collaborating with all stakeholders over the coming months, through the Working Group, and seeing measures implemented in the short term that will directly impact the timely availability of medicines for patients.”
For media interviews and queries contact:
Eimear O’Leary, IPHA Director of Communications and Advocacy
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