IPHA calls for a rethink of medicines spending

Previous medicine pricing strategies will not be sufficient to meet the cost of increasingly innovative medicines, claims the IPHA.

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has called for a radical rethink of medicine pricing agreements at the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics Ireland (NCPE) conference on Wednesday 15th May 2019.

The industry’s pricing and supply agreement with the government will come up for renewal in summer 2020.

This intervention comes as Ireland’s budget for new medicines lags behind other Western European countries at less than 0.5% of the medicines budget.

IPHA president, Aidan Lynch, said in his speech:

“The pace of pharmaceutical innovation means that the pricing and supply agreements of the past will not work for the future.

 “The funding requirement to support the introduction of new medicines is going to be greater than the opportunity to save on older medicines.”

Mr Lynch stated that there should be a shift in attitudes towards medicine pricing, from “a cost to be written off” to an “investment in outcomes”:

“We need to find new ways of measuring value and outcomes. We must think differently, innovate and work together, sharing information and knowledge. If we are to be consistent from an industry perspective, we should not expect the HSE to pay for new drugs that are not innovative. In today’s world, innovation must be affordable. I, as a taxpayer, do not want the State to pay for anything that does not represent value, whether that’s a building or a medicine.”

For further information, you can read the IPHA press release here.

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Published 16. May 2019 in News, News Ireland