How is the Recession Affecting the Irish Pharmaceutical Market Environment?
The economic downturn has led to reductions in healthcare spending, necessitating cost-saving measures such as reference pricing.
As a result of the economic downturn, the government faces an extremely tight financial operating environment in the next few years. Ireland needs to make savings of over 1.0 billion euros (US$1.4 billion) in 2010, out of a health budget of 16.0 billion euros (US$22.2 billion). In order to do this, cost-saving measures will be implemented wherever possible.
In February 2010, the prices of nearly 300 branded medicines were cut by 40%. It is anticipated that the move will make savings for the government of up to 94 million euros (US$130 million) over 12 months. The 40% reductions mean that many patented drugs are now cheaper than their generic versions.
A prescription charge was introduced in June 2010 for medical card holders, of around 50 cent (US$0.69) per item prescribed. This works in two ways; by raising money and discouraging the over-prescribing of medicines. In addition, although reimbursement for the over 70s was more or less automatic between 2001 and 2009, a means test has now been introduced, in attempt to slow consumption.
There are plans to introduce reference pricing and generic substitution in 2011, which will save around 78 million euros (US$111 million) a year. Reference pricing will be introduced for 100 interchangeable medicines, amounting to over 250 groups when product strengths are taken into account. Generic substitution will also be implemented, whereby the patient will have to pay the difference if they would prefer a branded medicine.
All the posts in the World Pharmaceutical Markets category have been written by the WPM team at Espicom Business Intelligence please click here to purchase the detailed 66 page report on The Pharmaceutical Market Ireland
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