Wider patient access to new cancer drugs would cost €500 million says NCPE

The NCPE has updated its budget impact estimate for 13 early-stage cancer drugs to €500 million over a five year period.

The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) updated its estimate after State-owned insurer VHI Healthcare confirmed the number of indications for new cancer drugs on its scheme will total 13, rather than the 3 previously understood.

The NCPE’s response assesses how much extra it would cost the Irish state to deliver equivalent patient access for public patients to that which will now be available under VHI cover.

It has been reported that the wider access affects only private patients in private hospitals rather than private patients being treated public hospitals, leading Professor Michael Barry, Clinical director of the NCPE, to raise an equity concern. Simon Harris, Minister for Health, explained this decision was made for commercial reasons and did not involve the Government, though some commentators did point out that the Government is the major stakeholder in the organisation.

MAP will be following closely updates as they happen.

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Published 23. April 2019 in News, News Ireland