Dept of Health and HSE at odds over 9 life-changing drugs

The Department of Health and the HSE are at odds of the provision of nine new life-changing drugs.

The approved drugs, which would be used to treat cancer, depression and heart conditions are set to cost around €120m over the next five years.

The HSE has suggested that it does not have the necessary funds despite a budget underspend of €21m and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) providing a €140m saving on other drugs.

CEO of the IPHA Oliver O'Connor says there is no reason why this money cannot be used to fund these life changing drugs.

"Basically they should have contructed their budget, taking account of all the saving's we're providing, which were precicely put in place by agreement with the Minister, with the State last year so that there would be a a budget availability to fund new medicines," he said.

"That's our part of the deal, we've done it. The prices are now the average of 14 European countries and yet medicines are not available in Ireland as they are in those 14 other countries."

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