Press Release

Ireland to work with other EU Countries to secure affordable access to new medicines for Irish patients

Today, Minister for Health Simon Harris, at the 3rd Roundtable meeting of EU Health Ministers and CEOs and Heads of Europe-based pharmaceutical companies, signed the Valletta Declaration along with Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Romania.

The Declaration is in line with the Minister’s stated objective since coming into office to work with other countries to make medicines available to patients at affordable prices.

The signatories have agreed to work together to explore possible ways to guarantee access to new medicines for patients.

A Technical Committee will be established, with the first meeting to take place in June. This group will explore possible areas for cooperation including information sharing, horizon scanning and possible price negotiations and joint procurement.

Speaking from Malta this evening, Minister Harris said, ‘Since coming into office I have seen the challenges our health service and, more importantly, patients have experienced in terms of access to new medicines at an affordable price. International collaboration is key to addressing this issue. The Valletta declaration marks a concrete step forward in this regard. Ireland will continue to build on this and our relationship with other member states in our efforts to secure affordable access for Irish patients to innovative medicines.