New pricing structure for cholesterol-lowering drugs
Decision is part of long-awaited programme to replace some branded drugs with generic alternatives
It is estimated a patient prescribed 10mg of atorvastatin, which is the active ingredient in lipitor, should see savings of €180 per year.
The Government has said that prices for atorvastatin products – drugs which are used to control cholesterol – are to be reduced.
The move forms part of the latest phase of the Government’s reference pricing initiative aimed at curbing expenditure on its bill for medicines.
From today a new price regime applies to atorvastatin, which is the active ingredient in the most commonly prescribed statin. The reduction will apply to the branded drug Lipitor and generic equivalents.
It said that reference pricing would see both patients and taxpayers benefit from reduced costs.
An estimated 250,000 Irish residents are using a form of statin.
Minister for Health James Reilly said: the introduction of a first reference price for a medicine which is used to control cholesterol,” represents a major step in ensuring lower prices are paid for these medicines”.
“The new reference prices for atorvastatin products means the HSE now pay 70 per cent less for these products compared to May 2013. Patients will save on the cost of their medication and taxpayers will benefit from the reduced prices paid by the HSE.”
Minister of State at the Department of Health Alex White said: “The introduction of reference prices will ensure that generic medicine prices in Ireland will fall towards European norms. It will safeguard value for money for the taxpayer and will mean that prices are set at levels which facilitate - not jeopardise - supply of these products in Ireland.
Under the new pricing structure it is estimated that a patient prescribed 10mg of atorvastatin should see savings of €180 per year, while those on 20mg doses should save €280.