Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (636)

Bernard Durkan


636. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which the cost of prescription drugs to the Exchequer has fluctuated over the past four years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30830/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The cost to the HSE of drugs and medicines supplied under the GMS, Drug Payment and Long Term Illness schemes between 2008 and 2012 are set out below:


Exchequer Costs


€1.53 billion


€1.46 billion


€1.53 billion


€1.65 billion


€1.59 billion

The figures above include dispensing fees and mark-ups paid to pharmacists.

In recent years, a number of changes to the pricing and reimbursement system have been successfully introduced in Ireland. These have resulted in reductions in the prices of thousands of medicines.

Between 2009 and 2013 price reductions of the order of 30% per item reimbursed have been achieved. The average cost per item on the GMS Scheme has reduced from a peak of €18.97 in 2009 to €13.43 in January/February 2013, a 29% reduction in cost per item. The average cost per item reimbursed is now running at 2001/2002 levels.