The pharmaceutical industry and the state have agreed on a six-month extension of a framework agreement on the supply of medicines. The agreement sets the pricing of medicines in Ireland at an average of 14 EU Member States per year. The state will also benefit from discounts on sales of 5.25%, which climb to 5.5%. The entry into the market of competing products for non-patented medicines will lead to significant price decreases. In addition, the agreement contains a detailed means for the authorisation of new medicinal products by the HSE in Annex 1. Reid said he looks forward to leading the IPHA over the next two years with a program focused on further integrating pharmaceutical innovations into the healthcare system through partnerships with public sector stakeholders in the areas of health, business and research. However, the pharmaceutical industry is not happy with the ban imposed last year by the Ministry of Public Spending on newly available medicines and medicines, which are reimbursed by the HSE if they entail additional costs. The Department of Health said on Wednesday: „The existing framework agreement on the supply and pricing of medicines with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association expires on 31 July this year. The Agreement provides that all obligations under the Agreement shall expire after that date, unless they continue by mutual agreement between the Parties. In the absence of an extension of the current agreement on the pharmaceutical industry, rebates of around €5 million per month, which go to the HSE, could be jeopardised. The Irish Times reported in February that the government at the time rejected at the last minute a request from the HSE board to secure up to €20 million in special funds for new medicines and medicines available this year.
„These drugs have responded to the clinical efficacy and value for money of the state. They are all widespread in the EU. Patients deserve the best treatment. We hope that an extension can be agreed this week. It is in everyone`s interest. „One of my first tasks will be to negotiate a new industry-state agreement that will allow patients to access more quickly the new innovative therapies that our companies are advancing. Ireland remains one of the slowest countries in Western Europe to provide new medicines to patients. „There are more than a dozen new drugs. They are all very common in the EU, but not for patients here. The main reason they are not available here is that, despite the demand for new funding from the HSE, there is no new funding for new drugs this year. As part of a cooperative approach between industry and the state, the agreement provides a reliable framework within which public spending on medicines is sustainable and innovative new medicines can be made available to patients in Ireland in a timely manner. „We continue to work constructively with health authorities towards a short-term renewal of the existing agreement,“ IPHA said on Wednesday.
For an extension to be feasible, we need to resume reimbursement for new drugs this year. „We look forward to continued constructive cooperation with the health authorities in the coming weeks with a view to an extension and a new agreement.