The Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 was commenced on Monday, 24 June 2013. This Act provides for the introduction of a system of generic substitution and reference pricing. It also sets out statutory procedures governing the supply, reimbursement and pricing of medicines and other items to patients under the GMS and community drug schemes.
The key aim of the legislation is to ensure value for money in the supply of medicines; therefore, the medicines that will be reviewed first by the Irish Medicines Board are most costly to patients and the Exchequer. The IMB will review an initial 20 active substances, which equates to approximately 1,500 individual medicines. They include statins, proton pump inhibitors, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. The drugs involved are:-
It is expected that the first List of Interchangeable Medicines, containing groups of atorvastatin products, will be published in mid-August. The IMB will publish subsequent lists for other groups of medicines on an ongoing basis. From the end of the year onwards, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions will be subject to generic substitution, which will offer choice and reduced prices to patients.