Friday 7 June 2013

Generic inevitabilities in Ireland

New pricing system for generic drugs to be implemented this year aimed at significantly reducing the cost of generic drugs.

The Irish Medicines Board is drawing up lists of interchangeable products for 20 substances most commonly prescribed. This has to be the start of a process that will give the county the benefits of a 90% reduction in the cost of some medical treatment.

This inevitable move could have been predicted by anyone choosing to compare the prescription-drug/generic-drug pricing structure wherever a state-funded medicine system is in operation. In fact, readers of KamBlog will have had 9 months to anticipate this morning's announcement in the Irish Times.

In October 2012 we wrote:

Radical changes overdue
With generics = 5% of the €1.85bn drug bill in Ireland vs. 80% in the UK (Dail Questions: Reilly, 25th Oct 2012), and generics prices in Ireland = 2% less than branded prices but 12 times UK generics prices, we would suggest it is inevitable that:

The government will legislate to increase generics usage to something approaching the UK %. Prices of generics will then be forced down to levels comparable with the UK (think legislation or encouragement of parallel importing, or both).

In other words, on current levels of consumption, a 50/50 split of generics and branded, and generics pricing being reduced even by 50%, the annual drug bill will be reduced to €1.4bn, minimum… More here

However, the real issue has to be the benefits for a NAM of realistically facing up to the inevitabilities of market developments, conducing a couple of ‘what ifs’ on the probable consequences, taking a couple of appropriate actions to minimise the damage and then reverting to the day-job and making ready for the next engagement with Tesco…

Have an inevitable weekend, from the NamNews Team!

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