Thursday July 20 2017 12:14 PM
Continual delays in reimbursement of new medications
One year ago, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) made a Framework Agreement with the Irish government on the pricing and supply of medicines. The agreement had two purposes (1) to save money and (2) to have timely access to medicines in the Irish health services.
A year on, there are still serious delays in new medications being made available in Ireland. Ireland currently ranks 16th out of 26 countries in Europe in terms of the number of authorised medicines being made available and a number of medications that have been approved for reimbursement by the HSE are being referred to the Department of Health due to a lack of available funding. Of nine medications currently awaiting approval by the Department of Health, it has been 2½ years on average since the outcome of the HSE’s ‘Rapid Review’ (which is carried out to determine if a full health technology assessment (HTA) to assess the cost-effectiveness of a medication is required).
MS Ireland believes that these delays in making new medications available are unacceptable, particularly given the strong scientific evidence that the earlier after diagnosis someone with MS is treated with an appropriate medication, the better their long term outcomes will be. There are some potential new therapies for MS in the pipeline, including two new treatments currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If licensed, MS Ireland believes these treatments should be made available to people with MS in Ireland as soon as possible and we call on all parties involved to try and find solutions to the problems with the current systems for medications access.