HSE's High Tech Drug payments up to €484m
One drug firm received fees of over €225m from the HSE through the executive's High Tech Drugs and Medicines scheme in 2014, new figures show.
The HSE's Primary Care Reimbursement Service Statistical Analysis for 2014 shows that the largest recipient was Uniphar Group (Dublin) and subsidiary Allphar Services which got combined payments totalling €225m.
The drug wholesaler boosted its revenues from €850.5m in 2013 to €1.1bn in 2014.
The figures also show that three subsidiaries of United Drug - United Drug Wholesale (Dublin), United Drug Wholesale (Limerick) and United Drug Wholesale (Ballina) - got combined payments totalling €108m while Pfizer Healthcare Ireland got fees amounting to €78m.
The total amount paid out by the HSE through the High Tech Drugs and Medicines in 2014 rose from €442.27m to €484m.
Other firms to feature in the top ten include Movianto which received €12.23m and Astellas Pharma which received €9.2m.
In spite of the increased spend, the directors of another multinational pharma firm in Ireland said the market here has seen downward pressure on pricing in recent years.
The directors of Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd said the downward pressure was particularly felt after the industry's agreement with the Department of Health in 2012 and "consequently, market growth dropped to about 3pc in 2014."
They anticipated that after the 2012 agreement, "the market will face further pressure on prices in the coming years".
The latest accounts for Roche show it recorded pre-tax profits of €5m after revenues rose by 6.5pc to €92.2m in the 12 months to the end of December 2014. Numbers employed rose by two to 79.