Boost for patients as drug-price cut kicks in
THE price of hundreds of medicines is due to fall from today with the State, and private patients, benefiting from cheaper drugs.
The reduction follows a recent deal between drug companies and the Department of Health, which is expected to generate €400m in state savings over the next three years.
Private patients should also enjoy reductions in the individual prices of patent and off-patent medicines from today.
It may be some time before pharmacies pass on the reductions because of older stock purchased at higher prices.
Rory O'Donnell, president of the Irish Pharmacy Union, said most pharmacists would have ordered medicines yesterday evening to avail of the lower prices, so customers should see the cuts "fairly fast".
The largest reductions will come in off-patent medicines. Once the patent expires, the wholesale price will reduce to 70pc of its original cost. After 12 months, the price will drop to 50pc. Mr O' Donnell said the price drop goes from as little as 5pc all the way up to 50pc.