The DH announced that there will be reductions in off-patent drug prices, but also in a range of drugs available on the HSE Community Drug Schemes.
IPHA stated the key points as:
- The Agreement will run for 3 years
- A process has been agreed to ensure that Irish patients will have timely access to new products over the period of the Agreement and are not disadvantaged due to current fiscal difficulties.
- On patent expiry, the price to the wholesaler of a medicine will be reduced to 70% of the original price. 12 months following this price reduction, the price to the wholesaler will be reduced to 50% of the original price.
- For existing patent expired medicines, the price to the wholesaler will be reduced to 60% of the original price on 1st November 2012. This will be followed by a further reduction to 50% of the original price to the wholesaler 12 months later.
- A once off downward price realignment will apply to the currency-adjusted average price to the wholesaler in the nominated EU member states on all on patent medicines and off patent unique medicines.
The bill also introduces ‘groups of interchangeable medicinal products’ and the mechanisms of substitution. It is described by the Irish Parliament website as a:
“Bill entitled an Act to establish a list of groups of interchangeable medicinal products which may be substituted for each other in order to enable savings to be made for patients or the Health Service Executive, or both, where the lower priced medicinal products are supplied, to establish a list of drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances which may be supplied under section 59 of the Health Act 1970, to establish mechanisms to set the prices of such drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances where they are so supplied, to rename the Irish Medicines Board, to provide for the consequential amendment of other enactments; and for related matters”