To ask the Minister for Health and Children the response that she will issue to persons regarding her plans and those of the Health Service Executive to introduce a scheme called reference pricing and generic substitution for all prescription drugs here, including osteoporosis; if she will reconsider her initial plans and agree to firstly consult osteoporosis specialists. – Dan Neville T.D.
The Government has decided to introduce a system of reference pricing combined with generic substitution of medicines. This will promote price competition and deliver ongoing savings for both the State and for patients.
In June, I launched a report, prepared by a joint working group made up of officials and healthcare professionals from my Department and the HSE, which sets out a proposed model for the operation of generic substitution and reference pricing in Ireland. The working group consulted with a wide range of stakeholders as part of its work. Decisions about the interchangeability of medicines will be evidence-based and take into account best practice elsewhere. I expect to see significant progress on the implementation of this initiative, including the identification of legislative and administrative changes required to give it effect in 2011.