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Big drug companies extend deal on price and supply of medicines


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Pharmaceutical companies have agreed a six-month extension to the current deal with the Government on the price and supply of medicines.

Bernard Mallee, Director of Communications and Advocacy at the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) said, “This six-month extension is an important staging post on the wider project of creating a better reimbursement environment for new medicines.

“The industry wants Ireland to be excellent at getting medicines to patients, just as we are excellent at making them. The way to do that is through joint industry-State funding for new medicines.

“Making that happen - in other words, righting what we call the ‘innovation paradox’ - requires partnership and policy change. We look forward to engaging with the new Government on that over the coming weeks and months.”

He said the extension is designed to give the State space to get ready for negotiations on a new agreement, given that the agenda is, understandably, dominated by COVID-19.

The extension gives the State certainty for the continued supply of medicines, especially during the emergency.

It avoids bilateral negotiations between the health authorities and companies for thousands of medicines in the system. It will generate for the State further savings through price cuts and a cash rebate.

The extension provides for the application of savings generated by the industry through price cuts to fund some new medicines that have met State clinical effectiveness and value for money tests.

IPHA has identified more than a dozen of these medicines.

The medicines are for treating conditions including cancer, colitis, migraine, multiple sclerosis and short bowel syndrome. They are all widely available in the European Union.

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