Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (398)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

398. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to undertake a regulatory impact assessment and-or a cost-benefit analysis of Ireland's participation in the BeNeLuxA initiative. [8126/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

On the 22 June 2018, I signed the Beneluxa Initiative on Pharmaceutical Policy to work with Austria; Belgium; the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This Agreement is in line with my objective to work with other European countries to identify workable solutions, in an increasingly challenging environment, to secure timely access for patients to new medicines in an affordable and sustainable way.

Successful collaboration with like-minded countries is one policy lever that is being pursued by the Government to enable us improve long-term access to innovative drugs at affordable prices, thereby providing clear benefit to all stakeholders. It is essentially an administrative collaboration whereby Members of Beneluxa will work together to identify pragmatic solutions to the challenges which we all now face with medicines pricing, sustainability and supply. Insofar as a Regulatory Impact Assessment is a tool used for structured exploration of different options to address a particular policy issue, I would not see it as appropriate in this case. The costs involved with our cooperation with other Member countries are minimal and I believe the benefits in the long term have the potential to be significant.