Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

  • receive the eCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.


Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

Review urged into reimbursement of ‘free drugs’ to hospitals

By Mindo - 06th Aug 2019 | 12 views

The HSE should undertake a review to identify any free of charge (FOC) medicines being reimbursed to acute hospitals, according to an analysis by a technical accountancy firm.

A draft report on drug reimbursement by KOSI Corporation, seen by the Medical Independent  following a Freedom of Information request, identified two drugs reimbursed to acute hospitals at a cost of €76,465 and €1,358,412 during 2016. However, without further testing across all hospitals “we are unable to determine if this expense was nil” in that year.

“If acute hospitals are not incurring an expense for these drugs, PCRS [Primary Care Reimbursement Service] should not be bearing the cost as it is an inaccurate reflection of the ‘cost of the drug’.”

In a review involving sample hospitals, a specific medication was noted as invoiced to hospitals FOC.

Galway University Hospital (GUH) said it received some medications FOC, the details of which were redacted, “but that these are not booked or recorded anywhere from an accounting perspective as there is nil expense to the hospital. However, PCRS records show that €10,735 was paid to GUH for [redacted] during the months July 2016 to December 2016. This income has been accounted for by GUH along with all other PCRS income.”

St James’s Hospital, Dublin, provided invoices for testing purposes, which showed it was purchasing the drug. “Invoices revealed that at some point during August 2016, the supplier began charging St James’s for this drug.”

According to the hospital’s response, which was significantly redacted, when a particular regimen was prescribed, any co-prescribed [name redacted] was supplied FOC by the manufacturers.

However, if this drug was co-prescribed with another regimen, the hospital did not receive the drug FOC.

“As

[redacted]

is the most common regimen in use currently most of the [redacted] we supply is free of charge,” according to the hospital’s response in the report.

Invoice testing at CUH revealed it received an oncology drug FOC for a period of 2016.

A HSE spokesperson said some contracts agreed at a national level with suppliers (via an EU procurement exercise) provided for FOC medicines in certain clinical circumstances.

The HSE “has and had” controls to ensure reimbursement claims were “adjusted” if or when a hospital erroneously applied for reimbursement of FOC medicines. “The KOSI report did not identify an issue which was not already mitigated or controlled.”

Leave a Reply

Latest
Latest Issue
medical news
The Medical Independent 19th May 2022

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read