€442m paid by HSE to pharma firms

New figures show that three units of Irish-based drug giant UDG Healthcare received payments totalling over €112m from the HSE in 2013.

€442m paid by HSE to pharma firms

According to the HSE’s newly published statistical analysis for 2013, the amount received by three of UDG’s Irish subsidiaries totalled €112.4m in 2013.

The payments to the UDG (formerly United Drug) firms make up over 25% of the total amount of €442.2m paid out by the HSE to pharma firms in 2013 in ‘hi-tech wholesale and manufacturer payments’.

The figures show that United Drug Wholesale (Dublin) received €54m with United Drug plc Limerick receiving €33.63m and United Drug plc Ballina netting €24.7m in fees.

The €442m paid by the HSE represents a 15% increase on the €385m paid out to pharma firms under the scheme the previous year.

The figures show that the top amount the HSE paid to one individual entity was €89m, which went to Abbvie Ltd, a spinout company from Abbott. It was founded in January 2013 with the goal to market groundbreaking science to solve the biggest health problems that face the world.

Pfizer Ltd — which recently announced it was reversing a decision to close its manufacturing facility in Little Island, Cork, safeguarding some 160 jobs at the facility — received €57m in 2013.

Movianto, which says it develops and implements streamlined logistics and distribution solutions on a European, regional, and local level, received €44.4m in payments in 2013.

Other firms to feature in the list include Vertex Pharmaceuticals which received €16m, and Cahill May Roberts which received €14.15m.

The payments to the pharma firms came after the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association reached a three-year agreement, in October 2012, with the Department of Health on the supply of medicines.

It said these medicines would yield in excess of €400m in savings to the State.

As well as offering substantial price reductions, the industry agreed a process to ensure that Irish patients would have timely access to new products over the period.

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