Drugs pricing accord behind revenue fall: Roche

Drugs pricing accord behind revenue fall: Roche
At a recent launch of FutureProofing Healthcare: The Sustainability Index in Dublin were Pierre-Alain Delley, general manager, Roche Products (Ireland) Limited and Trisha Goddard, broadcaster and breast cancer survivor. Picture: Marc O’Sullivan

The main Irish arm of Swiss drugs giant Roche has blamed a new pricing agreement with the Government for “a significant decline in revenues” in 2017.

That is according to new accounts filed by Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd which show that pre-tax profits fell 7% to €5m, as revenues declined 6% €101.7m.

The firm paid a dividend of €2.5m in 2017. According to the directors’ report, “2017 proved to be a difficult trading year for the company with a significant decline in revenues”. The company said the decline in revenues was influenced by “the full year impact of the new pricing agreement between the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) and the Department of Health which was signed in July 2016”. The effects “were a combination of lower list prices and increased rebates to the State”.

“Like other IPHA members, the company continued to experience significant delays in the re-reimbursement of medicines, causing the launch of new medicines to be delayed which has negative consequences for both the company and for patients in Ireland."

Ireland is now among the slowest countries in Western Europe to reimburse new medicines,” it claimed.

It also said one of the firm’s cancer drugs MabThera was also hit by competition which was “a cause of concern for the company, both in terms of planning and the ability to deliver life-changing medicines to patients in Ireland”.

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