Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (136)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

136. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance if the drugs Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab will be made VAT exempt and tax allowable in circumstances in which a patient has no option but to self-fund these drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51695/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In accordance with Irish VAT legislation, oral medicines (for human consumption), licensed or authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority, are liable to VAT at the zero rate. Non-oral medicines (products such as injections and infusions) are liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%. There currently is no provision under existing VAT law that would make it possible to apply a reduced rate or zero rate to the supply of such products.

Under the EU VAT Directive, any changes to VAT rates outside of what is currently permitted by the EU VAT Directive must be negotiated at EU technical working groups and ultimately agreed by the EU Council of Finance Ministers.