Health | Access and availability to various medicines in Ireland
To ask the Minister for Health the degree to which access to various medicines remains equally available to those in this jurisdiction as compared with the rest of the Single Market in Europe and at a similar price; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department does not collate data on the availability of medicines in Ireland as compared with other European countries.
As the Deputy is aware, the Oireachtas put in place a robust legal framework, in the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, to give full statutory powers to the HSE to assess and make decisions on the pricing and reimbursement of medicines, taking account of a range of objective factors and expert opinion as appropriate.
HSE decisions on which medicines are reimbursed by the taxpayer are made on objective, scientific and economic grounds, on the advice of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (the NCPE). They use a decision framework to systematically assess whether a drug is cost-effective as a health intervention.
The Government is committed to making healthcare, including the cost of medicines, more accessible and affordable, and has introduced several reductions in the cost of medicines.
The budget allocation of €50m funding for new medicines in Budget 2021 provided for the reimbursement of 52 new medicines/new indications of existing medicines. A further €30 was allocated in Budget 2022. As of 26 May, the HSE had approved 30 new medicines/new indications of existing medicines in 2022.
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