Generic Drugs – Administrative stupidity and funk again

he saga on generic drug pricing has motored on for decades. In 1986
approximately, Fintan Cronin and I reported on this subject for RTE’s
“Today Tonight” programme – the forerunner of “Primetime”. Parallel
importing is now common with thousands buying prescription drugs in
Spain in particular and also in Newry.

Fast forward to this week-end and the report in the Sunday Business
Post which details the sorry incompetence of the nomenclatura in this
state. The deal with the state which covers the GMS and the Community
Drugs Scheme with the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of
Ireland as the suppliers is as sweet as you could ever imagine for the
vendors. Under the terms, generic medicines should not cost more than
98% of the equivalent proprietary original. UNBELIEVABLE.

The contents in the  table in the report in the newspaper shows the
sorry picture. All prices are for a 28 day supply.

Lipitor  (atorvastatin)  British Generic Price (€7.80) Irish Generic
Price (€24.08)

Zoton (lansoprazole) British Generic Price (€2.60)  Irish Generic Price (€22.14)

Zyprexa (Olanzepine) British ………………….(€76.38) Irish
Generic Price (€162.36)

Losex (Omeprazole) British Generic Price (€1.98) Irish Generic Price (€13.41)

Plavix (Clopidogrel) British Generic Price (€2.93)  Irish Generic Price (€37.14)

Tritase (Ramipril) British Generic Price (€1.63) Irish Generic Price (€4.86)

Cipramil (citalopram) British Generic Price €1.65) Irish Generic Price (€17.90)

Zocor (Simvastatin) British Generic Price (€1.21) Irish Generic Price (€5.58)

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) British Generic Price (€7.11) Irish Generic
Price (€38.29)

Effexor (Venlafaxine) British Generic Price (€4.75) Irish Generic Price (€37.99)

In 2009,Ireland was fourth in per capita drug expenditure in the OECD
behind, the US, Canada and Greece.

The APMI President is quoted “You have to have bespoke packaging for
ireland which costs money” I have really no comment on that.