The Republic of Ireland have joined the BeNeLuxA initiative of countries, previously made up of Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria. The partnership acts as a single bloc in negotiations, particularly around drug pricing and reimbursement. They also commit to data sharing and transparency, as well as applying lessons learnt from EUnetHTA to share responsibility for health technology assessments.
Simon Harris, Minister of Health in Ireland said,
“I am pleased that my Ministerial colleagues from Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg have enabled Ireland to join this exciting, international collaboration on drug pricing and supply. I want the newest and most innovative medicines to be available in a timely manner to all our citizens. This collaboration will assist us in doing just that by ensuring that medicines can be sourced at a price that is affordable and sustainable in the context of the ever competing demands for resources rights across our health service”.
Dutch minister Bruno Bruins for Medical care said,
“Ireland is a great addition to the BeNeLuxA family. All five countries face similar issues regarding access and affordability to new and innovative medicines. By joining forces we improve our mutual position in price negotiations towards the pharmaceutical industry and we have a stronger voice at European level. In this way we can ensure that our patients can count on access to affordable, innovative medicines in the long term”.