• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

The great drugs rip-off


Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,338
Listening to an interview on Drivetime this evening on the cost of prescription drugs in Ireland versus the cost of the same drugs in the UK, I was dumbfounded to hear that our bankrupt state is currently forking over between 6 and 24 times more than our nearest neighbour for the same products. That some of these products are made here makes this anomoly all the more bizarre.

Ireland is fourth in an OECD table of costs for its spend on drugs, behind the US, Canada and, strangely, Greece.

The following piece from an Irish Times article dated last August is, putting it mildly, disturbing. Highlighted text my own:


Under the proposed Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012, pharmacists will soon be able to substitute drugs themselves, while the introduction of reference pricing – which is already common in other countries – will mean that if medical card patients want to receive a familiar brand that costs more than the reference price, then they will have to pay the additional cost.

It has been suggested that this could lead to savings of up to €100 million a year.

So far so good you might say, although there is likely to be some opposition to the legislation.

According to a spokesman for the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), which represents the makers of branded drugs, pharmaceutical companies would like to see more clarification on the Bill and are hoping to get some amendments as it goes through the process of being enacted.

Some in the industry argue that allowing pharmacists to substitute prescriptions takes away the clinical decision-making authority of doctors.

More problematic however, is the fact that even if branded drugs are replaced with their generic equivalent, it won’t necessarily lead to any great savings.

This is because the current agreement between the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Ireland (APMI) provides that generic medicines can be priced at up to 98 per cent of the originator product.

So in some cases, even if the generic alternative is offered, the Government can expect to make savings of just 2 per cent.

Indeed a recent report suggested that the HSE pays about 12 times more than the NHS in Britain for generic drugs.
While the HSE, top heavy with layers of pen-pushers clogging up the lines of direct action, lumbers from one crisis to another, the question arises as to just who is presiding over the continuing rip-off of the Irish taxpayer through the purchase of common drugs at outrageously inflated prices, and why?

It's not enough to lay the blame for this robbery at the door of the Health Minister. This is a failure of government.
 

tigerben

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
4,621
I can't understand why there isn't a deal with ordering between HSE and The NHS . Surely a list of medicines can be given to them , ordered with their order and then dispatched here!
 

dizillusioned

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
14,870
We were told it was the Pharmacists, the real problem is the contracts with the Pharmaceutical companies.

Perhaps I am a little "niaive", I have always thought all this FDI by them was as a result of negotiations on the price being charged in Ireland to the likes of the HSE.
 

linny55

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
4,492
Was buying tablets the other day and the chemist said we have generic ones at from what i can remember €25 instead of €42
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
31,997
We were told it was the Pharmacists, the real problem is the contracts with the Pharmaceutical companies.

Perhaps I am a little "niaive", I have always thought all this FDI by them was as a result of negotiations on the price being charged in Ireland to the likes of the HSE.
Get real, the Irish market is tiny, pharma companies make their profits on making raw materials in Ireland and selling them on to their finishing plants. Our biggest problem is with the distribution system in Ireland.
 

Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,338
We were told it was the Pharmacists, the real problem is the contracts with the Pharmaceutical companies.

Perhaps I am a little "niaive", I have always thought all this FDI by them was as a result of negotiations on the price being charged in Ireland to the likes of the HSE.
The pharma companies will take as much as they can screw out of their customers. The question is why are Irish governments easier to screw over than others?

And this isn't confined to just drugs either. Across a range of products, from periodicals to fruit and veg, Irish consumers are being taken for a ride.
 

fontenoy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
2,415
Sorry wrong thread I thought someone had copped on to the missing gramme con my local weed dealer is at:shock2:
 

Ryan Tubbs

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
3,660
I have to say I'm almost getting tired of hearing about this issue. As will anyone who reads the Sunday Business Post.

Susan Mitchell, their health correspondent, has some kind of crazy fetish about the issue. Every single week (and I mean EVERY SINGLE WEEK) she has a full-page spread on drug pricing.

I wouldn't mind, only it is a stupefyingly boring issue compared to the other myriad problems facing the health service.
 

Levellers

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
14,115
I thought this was gonna be about Dunphy and the price of cocaine.
 

Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,338
Get real, the Irish market is tiny, pharma companies make their profits on making raw materials in Ireland and selling them on to their finishing plants. Our biggest problem is with the distribution system in Ireland.
I can buy a pack of Paracetamol in Spain for a quarter of its price here. Same product, same maker.

The distribution system in Ireland doesn't explain anything and equally small markets, like Belgium or Luxembourg, don't incur the same costs.

It's an Irish phenomenon.
 

R3volution_R3ady

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,370
Why don't you ask Enda Kenny?

He loves nothing better than a good old sit down with these super pharmaceutical companies to thrash out expensive deals.
 

Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,338
I have to say I'm almost getting tired of hearing about this issue. As will anyone who reads the Sunday Business Post.

Susan Mitchell, their health correspondent, has some kind of crazy fetish about the issue. Every single week (and I mean EVERY SINGLE WEEK) she has a full-page spread on drug pricing.

I wouldn't mind, only it is a stupefyingly boring issue compared to the other myriad problems facing the health service.
It might bore you, but it might also be useful to get to the bottom of why we're being ripped off. How many other areas in our health service cost atructure are similarly affected?

We can ditch nurses to save costs but can't negotiate with Big Pharma to do the same.
 

R3volution_R3ady

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,370
It might bore you, but it might also be useful to get to the bottom of why we're being ripped off. How many other areas in our health service cost atructure are similarly affected?

We can ditch nurses to save costs but can't negotiate with Big Pharma to do the same.
You will never get elected to the position "our betters" are in UNLESS you have friends in the right places. That's just how it works.
 

tigerben

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
4,621
It's also amazing when the government talk about the wages here to across the border, they never mention the cost of precriptions being 3/4 times the cost in difference.
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
31,997
I can buy a pack of Paracetamol in Spain for a quarter of its price here. Same product, same maker.
Good example, over the counter, no prescription needed, the package costs more than the medicine, no reason for the manufacturer to try and hike the price - maybe its like the cost of food in the supermarket?
 

dizillusioned

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
14,870
I do not know the figures, but the costs to the HSE must be the largest cost after wages? Surely if a new contract can be made with drugs companies then the savings will far outstrip the savings made through nursing wages cuts?
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
I can buy a pack of Paracetamol in Spain for a quarter of its price here. Same product, same maker.

The distribution system in Ireland doesn't explain anything and equally small markets, like Belgium or Luxembourg, don't incur the same costs.

It's an Irish phenomenon.
Belgian pharmacies are cripplingly expensive.

France uses generics and if you want the original label on the box you can damn well pay for it yourself.
 

borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
I have heard before that the authorities are scared of trying to play hardball with the pharma companies, because they are worried that if they upset them they will up and leave.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
40,632
What seems insulting is that in time the country will lose money as generics come on-stream when the patents are released. Why we should suffer the loss of business to the manufacturers of generics while simultaneously paying them more than their other customers seems a mystery.
 
Top