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Patients in Ireland are waiting three times as long to get the same medicines as patients in other comparable European countries, an analysis by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has found.
IPHA, which represents the originator biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland, released new figures at its ‘Innovate For Life’ conference held on 21 November in Croke Park, Dublin.
Prices for innovative medicines in Ireland are calculated at the average of the price in 14 EU countries. IPHA analysed the reimbursement dates in these countries for 15 medicines which have completed their pharmacoeconomic assessment in Ireland but have yet to be reimbursed by the HSE.
The analysis found that, on average, each of these medicines has so far been reimbursed in 10 out of the 14 reference countries.
Patients in these countries were able to access these medicines within an average of 289 days from the date of EMA licensing.
However, in Ireland, patients in Ireland have so far been waiting an average of 843 days to get access to the same medicines, which is almost three times as long – a difference of 18 months on average.
Five of the 15 medicines are either fully or partially made in Ireland. Nine of the medicines are for cancer, two are for multiple sclerosis, two are for cardiovascular disease and two are for gastrointestinal diseases.
Ahead of a new agreement on the pricing and supply of medicines, IPHA called for an explicit ‘Medicines Policy’ aimed at helping to address the access issue .