The ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) today published a report on the prices of drugs/ pharmaceuticals. Last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that in 2010, at €528, Ireland spent more on pharmaceuticals than any other European country on a per capita basis. This is 50% above the average across EU member states of €349.
Other countries with relatively high pharmaceutical expenditure include Germany (€492), Belgium (€479) and France (€468). At the other end of the scale, Romania spent only €164 per capita. Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Poland are also among the countries that have relatively low pharmaceutical spending per capita, at less than 70% of the EU average.
Pharmaceutical expenditure accounted for almost a fifth (19%) of all health expenditure on average in EU member states and the total pharmaceutical bill across the European Union reached more than €190bn in 2010.
Today's ESRI report says the cost of in-patent and generic drugs in Ireland remains high despite some efforts by the Government to tackle the problem.
The report was commissioned by the Department of Health and the HSE, following a request from the bailout Troika.
Ireland's prices are the highest in Europe for 9 out of 13 commonly used generic medicines and for in-patent drugs, Ireland is among the three most expensive European countries surveyed for 10 leading products.
The researchers compared factory gate prices and in 2008, the State's drugs bill of €1.6bn had an estimated factory gate value of €1bn.
Pharmacy margins have been cut since but they are likelier to be higher than in other European countries.
The use of generic drugs in Ireland have increased but because of payments/ inducements to generic manufacturers, they tend to be similar to that of the original branded drugs.
Not only is the State being gouged but individuals without a medical card are also caught.
In a decision earlier this month that is a setback for the pharmaceutical industry, the US Supreme Court ruled that antitrust regulators should be able to challenge the arrangements that allow drug makers to delay the sale of a generic drug. In deals known as “reverse payments” or “pay for delay,” brand-name drug makers facing a patent challenge from generic competitors pay them to temporarily stay out of the market. Last year, there were 40 patent-dispute settlements between brand-name and generic drug makers involving a payment to the generic firm and restricted sale of a generic medicine, according to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) The agreements related to 31 brand name drugs with yearly US sales of more than $8.3bn, the agency said.
The ESRI report,
Ireland: Pharmaceutical Prices, Prescribing Practices and Usage of Generics in a
Comparative Context, [pdf] is authored by Aoife Brick, Paul K. Gorecki and
Anne Nolan (ESRI).
The key findings of the research are:Pharmaceutical Prices
Restructuring the Price Setting Mechanism
Patient Access Agreements
Check out our subscription service, Finfacts Premium , at a low annual charge of €25.
© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com