It's a bitter pill, but we could learn from NHS
A partnership between the HSE and Britain's health service could bring financial benefits, writes Thomas Molloy
WE pay far too much for medicines. The Government pays too much when it spends €2bn a year doing deals with pharmaceutical companies and individuals pay too much when they shell out a few euro at their local chemists.
A particularly egregious field when it comes to over payment is generic drugs. The generic equivalent of Eli Lilly's bi-polar treatment Zyprexa retails for €99.89 here in Ireland and costs just €4.10 in Britain. That means that our nearest neighbours pay 24 times less than we do for the same treatment.
There are many explanations for this but the most pressing reason is the Government's desire to suck up to the pharmaceutical companies that employ so many people here. Whether even one drug company would really pull out of a low corporate tax country like Ireland over a tiny reduction in their sales is far from clear.