Irish Medicines Up To 24 Times Dearer Than In New Zealand
PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent
Commonly used medicines cost up to 24 times more in Ireland than they do in New Zealand, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Health.
The report compared the prices of the top 10 drugs used in the medical card schemes in Ireland with prices in New Zealand and found that only one was slightly cheaper in Ireland.
Olanzapine, sold as Zyprexa and used to treat schizophrenia, is almost 24 times more expensive. Omeprazole (Prilosec), which is prescribed for ulcers and dyspepsia, is 18 times dearer. Clopidogrel (Plavix), which is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, costs almost 12 times more in Ireland.
Drug manufacturers often argue that one of the reasons costs are higher in Ireland is because it is a small country with limited economies of scale compared to the UK and other big markets. However, the authors of this report by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies chose to compare prices with New Zealand because the two countries are of a similar size.
Some Irish drug prices have since dropped after a deal was agreed with pharmaceutical companies last month.
The report is critical of user charges in health and points out that Ireland already has very high charges. It costs €51 on average to visit a GP here compared to €22 in France.
Ireland is one of only three countries to charge “non-poor” households for essential prescription drugs and one of only six to charge for attending hospital emergency departments. It says the hospital charge is much higher than elsewhere – €100 compared to only €2-€30 in other countries that charge.
Ireland is the only EU health system that does not offer universal coverage of primary care, the report says. Gaps in health coverage create financial barriers to access, particularly for those just above the threshold for medical cards.
The report points to figures that show Irish GPs are the highest paid in the OECD and earn the second highest multiple of average wages, but says improved data is needed. Considerable savings could also be made by cutting salaries for hospital doctors (this has since happened for new entrants).
The report says the Irish health system is experiencing unprecedented reductions in public spending. Cuts are compounded by underlying cost pressures. Some of these are caused by weaknesses in the system, such as high salaries and drug prices and poorly developed primary care, while others are due to factors beyond the control of the health system such as population growth and the recession.
The department was closely involved in the preparation of the report, which was completed in time to “inform” budget discussions on health spending.
The authors warn that efficiency gains from planned and additional reforms will not be sufficient to fund Minister for Health Dr James Reilly’s ambitious plans to provide universal access to primary care and strengthen services. These commitments will require additional revenue. Although there is scope to make substantial additional savings through greater efficiency, these cannot be made within the required timeframe without damaging patient care, unless high salaries and the high price of other inputs are seriously addressed, the report says.
If this is not feasible, it says the Government should consider establishing a mechanism to compensate the department and the HSE for unavoidable increased demand for health and long-term care.
Thank You Irish Times and Mr. Cullen
So, Are the Citizens of Ireland up to 24 Times Richer than those of New Zealand? Not likely.
And Mr Cullen says Ireland doesn't offer Universal Coverage of Primary Care. There's a red herring if ever there was.
No, there's something else that doesn't pass the smell test here, because whenever Government subsidizes Anything, the Price goes Up, not down because everybody billing the Government adjusts their rates according to the new, Govt. determined max.
Look at what Govt. meddling in America's Education Market has done to the price of a College education, and the post Degree Debt students are now saddled with.
"Any student who voted for President Obama--in either 2008 or 2012--in order to cut their college costs was sold a bill of goods. In Obama’s first four years, national tuition prices rose 25 percent and average graduating loan debt rose 16 percent."
And any Govt. assistance/takeover can only point the problem down the road to the Same set of inescapable, pre determined, further inefficiencies and rate Hikes it pretended to Address to begin with.
Up to 24 times More, for Zyprexa? A drug which never should have been on the market at Any price?"Now, the Obama-signed sequester (aka “fiscal cliff”) includes an 8.2 percent cut in non-Pell student aid, an across-the-board cut of more than $140 million. Student loan origination fees will also go up $91 million."
http://lamplightersoftware.com/dsm.php"Use the following search tool to view a summary of adverse reactions experienced by patients taking psychiatric drugs, culled from Individual Safety Reports (ISRs) submitted to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (MedWatch) between January of 2004 and September of 2009."
|Deaths Not From Suicide||1,490||976||501||84||35||391||161|
It would appear that Someone, or any Number of Someones
in the Irish Govt.
owe the people of Ireland some explanations.
And by All means, get a Real Good Look at how Zyprexa snuck itself into the back of an Entire World's unsuspecting neck: courtesy of Dr. Grace E. Jackson.
Zyprexa Trials Rigged: How It Was Done, In Detail