State delays in paying for new medicines criticised by pharma giant

Roche Products says delays do not identify Ireland as strong innovation supporter

The Irish marketing and selling arm of pharma giant Roche has hit out at "significant" State delays in paying out for new medicines.

The directors of the Dublin-based Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd have criticised the State in new accounts showing that pretax profits at the company in 2018 fell by 5 per cent to €4.75 million on revenues that were 5.5 per cent weaker at €96.13 million.

The directors described it as “another difficult trading year”.

‘Life-changing medicines’

The directors state that Ireland is one of the slowest countries in western Europe to reimburse new medicines and that was one of the primary factors underpinning the 2018 company performance.


The delays, they argue, have “consequences not only for the company but also for patients as they continue to await access to life-changing medicines”.

They directors say: “Such delays do not mark Ireland out as a market that strongly supports innovation.”

The revenues of the company were also hit by the company's breast cancer medicine, Herceptin, facing competition from biosimilars.

Numbers employed totalled 82 and staff costs came to €11.3 million. Directors’ pay totalled €736,000.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times