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Switching to Generic medicines can help Government to save $ 200 million a year

According to a latest report from the Irish pharmaceutical trade association, up to €1bn could be saved if generic medicines are included in the health service. This will be a huge savings for the government.

Medicines for Ireland (MFI), the largest supplier of drugs in Ireland, today released a report on the ‘Reductions in the Cost of Medicines’, which could save up to $ 200 million a year and could be diverted to additional HSE resources to accommodate 6,000 additional nurses or 3,500 additional nursing home beds.

David Delaney, Chair of Medicines for Ireland said that: “It is well recognised by the HSE and the Department of Health that the increased use of generic medicines has delivered €1.6 billion in savings to the Irish health system since 2013. These savings have been delivered by the members of MFI who supply the majority of medicines to the HSE and to patients directly.”

He said that Covid-19 has placed added pressure on an already over-stretched health system.

“The policy proposals set out in this report outline the opportunity for Government to free up significant HSE resources by avoiding an annual spend of hundreds of millions of euro on high cost patented medicines.”

Delaney said the average cost of generic drugs is six times lower than that of non-generic drugs, indicating the very significant savings that can be made nationally and locally.

“Failure to address the high cost of medicines, with more sustainable generic or biosimilar options, will ensure that funding constraints remain a millstone around the neck of an already overstretched healthcare system,” he said.

He also said that the current penetration rate for biosimilars medicine in Ireland is below 50 per cent while the average across other EU countries is in the range of 80 – 90 per cent, demonstrating the immense opportunity for further savings in this area.

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