November 21, 2019
Government need to look at Scottish PACE system for new medicines policy – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called on the government and the HSE to look at adopting the Scottish Patient and Clinician Engagement process for medicines approval in order to reduce waiting times for patients to access medicines.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) have reported that patients in this State are waiting three times as long for the same medicines as patients in other European countries.

“I know from speaking with many patients and patient groups that these waiting times and a lack of consultation and engagement in the medicines approval process is incredibly frustrating.

“For some time now, we have known that the medicines approval process is broken and needs to be fixed. It is also clear that the level of funding levels for new medicines is well below other European countries and needs to be increased.

“Scotland faced similar problems regarding difficulties with their medicines approval for policy before they implemented the successful Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process which gives patient groups and clinicians a stronger voice in decision making around medicines.

“A medicines approval process like PACE allows for the consideration of additional aspects of value beyond cost-effectiveness.

“This is not to say that the cost of medicines being submitted by pharmaceutical companies is not a problem, more often than not it is the root cause of the problem.

“It is of the utmost importance that patient considerations are put front and centre by the HSE, the government, and pharmaceutical companies when it comes to drug purchasing policy. 

“We need to re-evaluate our medicines approval and purchasing process and we also need to deepen our co-operation with other EU countries for the bulk purchasing of medicines in order to counter large pharmaceutical companies who seek to profiteer off the illnesses and difficulties of vulnerable people.”

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