Junior Health Minister White admits 'problem' with price of generic drugs
on 03/03/2013 13:28:56
The Health Service Executive has faced criticism for some time in relation to the pricing of such drugs in comparison to other European countries.
Despite the fact that a large number of drug manufacturers are based in Ireland, the HSE and the Irish consumer pays up to 24 times more for generic branded medicines than patients in Britain do who buy them under the NHS.
According to a report in The Sunday Business Post, the difference in price between Ireland and the rest of Europe is expanding.
In one example, the HSE is paying €18 for a generic version of the anti-cholestorol medicine Lipitor, a drug the NHS pays just €2 for.
The Health Service is under pressure to reduce the money spent on drugs after the Troika highlighted it as an area of concern.
Alex White denied the Government was afraid to take a tougher stance with the drugs companies.
"I think the setting of prices for drugs should be done on the basis of what's right in terms of the correct price for drugs, and no other factor," he said.
"I can see there's a serious problem (but) we have begun to get a grip on it."