Labelling medicine in Irish 'could cost jobs'

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE compulsory labelling of medicines in both English and Irish would add up to 10pc to the cost for patients and lead to the withdrawal of some products, according to a new report.

It could also result in one-fifth of jobs in one generic medicine firm being lost as it would lead to around half their products being taken out of the market.

The report comes after Irish language activist Peadar 'Tomas' MacRuairi brought a High Court challenge to the current one-language policy.

The report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Irish Independent, said:

• Two companies said it would lead to cost rises of 5pc to 10pc.

• Three makers of generic medicine predicted it would lead to the withdrawal of medicines.

• It could lead to a number of new products not being marketed here.

• One company suggested upfront additional costs in excess of €1m.

• It would take five years to bring in the labelling, with a possibility of shortages.