Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, today (Tuesday) announced that Ireland is to open negotiations with Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria on drug pricing and supply.
The Minister will now issue a Letter of Intent to his counterparts in those four countries formally signalling Ireland’s interest in joining the existing collaboration, known as the BeNeLuxA Initiative, on drug pricing and supply.
Minister Harris said:
The BeNeLuxA collaboration was established in 2015 with a view to “fostering the sustainability of national health care systems and the affordability of medical products challenged by high prices, adverse consequences of incentives and the unfilled leverage potential of individual countries negotiating with industry”. Four areas of collaboration have been identified by the group:
The Programme for Government commits to “drive down costs to provide new treatments, drugs etc” and to “look at opportunities for leveraging purchasing power either through national or European initiatives” in pursuit of this objective.
The pipeline for new medicines is very strong and it is estimated that in the region of 40-45 new molecules are due to receive market authorisation in Europe each year over the next five years. It is in the high tech space that the growth and challenge will arise in the future years.