Thursday 22 March 2018

Drug giants paid grants of €3.7m to hospitals in last 12 months

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Figures to be released today will show drug companies paid public hospitals over €3.7m last year in different grants.

The biggest beneficiaries are Tallaght Hospital which got over €480,000; St James's Hospital which was paid over €339,000; and Beaumont Hospital, which got nearly €250,000.

The payments were made by a range of drug giants, including Menarini Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie Ltd, Actelion UK Ltd, GSK, Biogen and Eli Lilly.

The figures to be released by Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association do not state the purpose of the payments although they are generally under the heading of research.

The Irish Independent recently reported that drug companies are paying the wages of a significant number of staff in the country's children's hospitals


Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin, which has been in the eye of a storm over waiting lists for scoliosis patients, confirmed that pharmaceutical companies pay for a nurse and a health and social care worker.

The companies are Nutricia Ireland, which specialises in the delivery of advanced medical nutrition, and AbbVie, which develops medicines for a range of conditions affecting children.

The nurses' salaries costs are €63,623 and the payment for the health and social care professional is €31,410.

A spokesman for Tallaght Hospital, which incorporates the National Children's Hospital, also confirmed that there are three junior doctors and two nurses whose salaries are funded by the drug companies.

He said they are all involved in research and some of the doctors also contribute to the regular on-call rota. The companies are Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi. All are paid according to HSE pay scales.

Temple Street Hospital told the Irish Independent that three posts are funded by drugs companies. They include a senior physiotherapist, a consultant and a research nurse at the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders.

"All of the part-time posts are research-based," she said.

Irish Independent

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