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The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has warned that the draft ‘Programme for Government – Our Shared Future’, published today “leaves unresolved the funding crisis for new medicines”.
The Association said that for the last year “there has been a deliberate decision from Government to provide no new funding to the HSE for new medicines”. The IPHA warns that this has created a “backlog of at least 18 new medicines still unavailable for patients”.
“The funding of new medicines is in crisis,” said Mr Oliver O’Connor, CEO of IPHA.
“The new Programme for Government is totally silent on funding new medicines. Without a change in direction from Government, the HSE is still effectively prohibited from paying for new medicines for patients.
“The result is that patients in Ireland are among the last in western Europe to access new innovative treatments. That means doctors are unable to prescribe the newest and best medicines for patients with serious illnesses like cancer, stroke and heart disease. This Programme for Government leaves patients and doctors still waiting.
“In its first Budget, the new Government must put new funding for new medicines on the table. That can be the basis for a new Agreement – a joint funding model recognising that both industry and the State share a responsibility to give patients the same treatment options as their peers in western Europe.
“With the current Agreement on pricing and supply of medicines set to expire, we are working on a co-funding model in which both industry and the State would agree to jointly fund new medicines. That’s the fairest way to ensure patients get timely access to the best medicines,” said Mr O’Connor.