Fine Gael Councillor Gordon Hughes has confirmed that the enactment of a new piece of legislation will significantly reduce the cost of drugs to the state and patient.
The Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012 is likely to pass into law by the year’s end and aims to promote competition between suppliers of interchangeable or generic medicines and to ensure value for money in the supply of medicines.
Speaking recently, Councillor Hughes said: “The increase in the cost of drugs to the State, which was presided over by Fianna Fáil-led administrations for more than a decade, is being rectified by the Fine Gael/Labour Government.” He commented that it is estimated that the rise in the cost of drugs over the last ten years is somewhere in the region of 230% rising from €572 million in 2000 to €1.894 billion in 2010. The Department of Health has said it hopes to cut the drug bill by €50 million a year using generic drugs.
“In cases where a patient refuses the generic, the difference in price between the generic and the original drug will be covered by the patient. This will ensure that the State gets value for money”, he concluded.