Drug firms must cut cost says Minister

The Minster for Health Varadkar said cost is the reason why Mary Gorman cannot access her life saving medication.

The Minster for Health Varadkar said cost is the reason why Mary Gorman cannot access her life saving medication.

It would cost the HSE €437,000 per patient to supply the drug to people with a the drug she needs.

“It is regrettable that to date the company has not been able to provide this drug at a more sustainable price to the HSE to reflect the clinical evidence.

“ Nonetheless, the door is not closed to a new medicine and it remains open to the company to come back with new evidence, a new price, or both.”

He suggested that the Joint Committee on Health and Children might call in representatives of Alexion.

“I suggest to Senators that the Joint Committee on Health and Children might call in representatives of Alexion in order to help in a way that might be most effective by putting pressure on the company to do right by Irish taxpayers and patients,” the Health Minister concluded.

Labour Party Senator, John Whelan, has said it is appalling that Mary Gorman and others have to play out their health difficulties in public and to have to resort to online campaigns and petitions to avail of the treatment which should be afforded to them by right.

“The key elements are that the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has entered the debate and I support his call to have the company Alexion Pharma brought to account for their aggressive pricing of this drug,” Senator Whelan said.

“I am also heartened that the door is not closed and ongoing discussions are in lace between the HSE and the company,” he said.