HSE approves use of €430,000 drug for two patients

The HSE has reached an agreement to provide the drug Soliris to sufferers of two rare diseases at an annual cost of €430,000 per patient.

HSE approves use of €430,000 drug for two patients

The HSE has reached an agreement to provide the drug Soliris to sufferers of two rare diseases at an annual cost of €430,000 per patient.

Due to the cost of the drug, it will be administered to sufferers of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical Haemolytic Uraemic (aHUS) on the basis of clinical need.

Treating medical staff have been asked to apply to the HSE's Medicines Management Programme (MMP) in order to commence a screening process for their patients.

This screening process will commence immediately.

The HSE has described the price tag for the drug as astronomical - and appealed to the manufacturers Alexion to reduce the cost of supplying Soliris.

In a statement, the HSE said: "The HSE had attempted to negotiate a more reasonable cost for this important drug. However, the drug manufacturer concerned refused, and continues to refuse, to provide Eculizumab at a reasonable and sustainable price."

Director general of the HSE Tony O'Brien said: "This is an astronomical price to pay for any drug. However, the HSE did not want the patients awaiting access to Eculizumab caught in the crossfire between a drug manufacturer attempting to enhance its corporate profits at all costs, versus the HSE attempting to protect scarce money for delivering health services."

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