Press Release

Minister Harney Says 40% Reduction In Drugs Costs Agreed With Ipha Will Mean Substantial Savings For Taxpayers And Consumers


The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., said today (Monday 1st February, 2010) she was pleased that the drugs companies who are members of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association have responded to her request, on behalf of the Government, to reduce costs this year by a substantial amount.

The Minister said : “These 40% price cuts on 300 of the most common off-patent drugs will save taxpayers and consumers considerable amounts of money – well over €90 million for taxpayers and several millions for consumers when they pay for drugs themselves.

“I would hope that generic drugs manufacturers who have not yet decided to cut their prices for these drugs will follow.

“I am also very keen on full transparency in the cost of drugs and I welcome the publication of prices by the manufacturers. It is important, when consumers are paying for drugs themselves under the Drugs Payment Scheme threshold of €120 a month, that they should be able to see the price that the HSE will pay for the same drug over the €120 threshold on the DPS scheme. I will be working with the HSE to ensure there is full transparency on their reimbursement rates.

“During the course of this year, I intend to bring forward legislation to allow for reference pricing/generic drug substitution to be implemented from next year onwards. This will put in place a dynamic system for continual price reductions on drugs that are off-patent, so that transparent price cuts will be a recurring feature of drugs costs for consumers and taxpayers.

“Reducing costs in our health services, particularly our drugs costs,means that we can maintain and enhance services with fewer resources. This is the task for the years ahead, one that is entirely achievable by doing business in more cost-effective ways, not just in health, but in the wider public services and in the economy generally.”