Two Donegal TDs say Irish patients are being ripped off, with the high cost of prescription medicines, according to Donegal Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Padraig MacLochlainn.
Responding to an article in The Irish Times, the pair said: “A recent survey shows that the HSE and patients here are paying up to twelve times more than the NHS for the same generic drugs. The differences in price between the medicines in Derry and Donegal are startling and show the extent of the manipulation of successive Governments by key players in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Patients and taxpayers are quite simply being ripped off as a direct result of the agreement entered into in 2010 with major pharmaceutical manufacturers, allowing them to charge the Government up to 98% of the price of branded drugs for generic medicines.
“For the industry to claim that the massive price differential is a result of specific packaging required for this State is an insult to people’s intelligence.
“Sinn Féin has repeatedly raised with Health Minister James Reilly the need for action to address the price of medicines in this state and recent reports in the media suggest that the situation is far worse than previously anticipated.
“At a time when we are seeing cutbacks in essential health services such as the HSE subsidised bus transporting patients from this county to hospital appointments in Dublin, it is truly sickening to see a significant portion of our Health Budget spent in such a wasteful and unnecessary way.
“It is now high time for Minister Reilly to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies in this state to ensure that the best value for money for all prescription medicines is achieved for the Government, the taxpayer and most of all, for the patients who rely on these medicines.”