Distributors sue HSE over pharmacy scheme

Seven firms claim decision stopped them supplying publicly funded community medicine programme

The seven companies are: PCO Manufacturing, Eurodrug, Imed Healthcare, BNS Healthcare, Lexon Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Lexon (UK) and LTT Pharma.

The seven companies are: PCO Manufacturing, Eurodrug, Imed Healthcare, BNS Healthcare, Lexon Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Lexon (UK) and LTT Pharma.

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

Seven pharmaceutical distributors have claimed their businesses have been seriously affected by a HSE decision which effectively prevents them supplying a publicly funded community medicine scheme, the High Court has heard.

The companies are seeking damages over a 2010 move in which the HSE demanded reductions in the amount paid under the community drug scheme which provides free medicines to people with specific illnesses.

The firms run a parallel import system for medicines to that of the major drug manufacturers and HSE payments under the scheme to retail pharmacies involved what is known as a “reimbursement price”, Jonathan Newman, for the HSE, told the court. The parallel importers could obtain the drugs and offer “dramatic reductions” to pharmacies of more than 50 per cent, counsel said.

Reduction
In 2010, the HSE entered into negotiations with the major manufacturers for a reduction in the reimbursement price. They did the same with the parallel importers who were told the existing arrangement could not continue because of the economic crisis, counsel said.

The companies then sued for damages as a result of the removal of the reimbursement price, or specifically a failure to grant them a reimbursement code for dealing with pharmacists. The HSE yesterday asked president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns to order disclosure of certain documents.

The judge said he would not make an order at this stage.

The seven companies are: PCO Manufacturing, Eurodrug, Imed Healthcare, BNS Healthcare, Lexon Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Lexon (UK) and LTT Pharma.

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