Don't raise your glass to end of rip-off Republic
Court decisions in Scotland and Luxembourg could impact on the price of drugs and alcohol in Ireland
Medicines and alcohol cost more in Ireland than most other European countries. The latter is expensive because taxes on drink are the highest in Europe. The former are overpriced because drugs-makers use their huge presence in Ireland to squeeze taxpayers' money from the State and because the State won't do more to take on anti-competitive practices in the retail pharmacy business.
Decisions taken by courts abroad last week could affect the prices of both in Ireland in the future.
Consider drugs prices and costs first. By some measures, Irish people spend more per person on drugs than any other EU country, and that is despite the average age of the population being among the lowest (older people take more medicines).