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    The price of medicine.

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news...-30013629.html.
    Im getting fed up with the price of medicine in this country. Going to go up North and get my prescription filled.
    One of the tablets I'm on cost €15 for a months supply as opposed to €1.50 in Norn Iron. This country is a complete joke shop.
    We'll engrave your name in gold, as we did in days of old.
    Roll along lovely Axel, roll along.

    #2
    Incredible stuff. For me the notion of having to pay 25 notes for a regular script is just completely alien. In fact it's years since I had to pay anything at all to renew an asthma inhaler or aerochamber. Once upon a time it was up to £7 or thereabouts (as a maximum for all prescription costs), which even then I thought was somewhat unfair on those who needed multiple or frequent repeat scripts. But several years ago the cost was cut to something like £1.50 or £2 a pop, and soon after that it was decided to make them all free on the NHS. Things are far from perfect up here, as the recent reports about how A&E waiting times have contributed to 5 patient deaths in Belfast show, but it's at a different level completely from the apparent disaster of a service provided by the HSE. In fact, the shockingly dysfunctional "system" of health service provision in the south would be a significant barrier to me ever moving back - at least as long as the NHS manages to do a better job of resisting the pressures of privatisation.
    Tis but a scratch.

    Comment


      #3
      The price of medicine.

      It is incredible but what is equally incredible is how we, as consumers, expect to pay €1.50 for 30 days of medicine! You can barely get a bar of chocolate and a drink for that! Even at €15 that's only 50c a day. I personally don't think that is in anyway extortionate.

      Plus, with respect to drug pricing, every country has its own system and they cannot be compared because many of the pricing systems are very complex referencing systems with other countries, etc.

      I 100% agree that the prices of branded original drugs are OTT but once they go generic I don't think that €15 is a lot to be honest.
      The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw


      Comment


        #4
        See I think that we immediately start to acquiesce to the notion of healthcare provision as being primarily a commercial enterprise - rather than a public service/investment for the common good - if we start out by identifying ourselves as "consumers" rather than as patients. Healthcare (and for that matter, education) being free at the point of use is the gold standard for any society which prioritises the welfare and advancement of its citizens - IMO, of course! - and free or low-cost prescriptions would be a cornerstone of that.
        Tis but a scratch.

        Comment


          #5
          The price of medicine.

          Maybe "consumer" was the wrong word, but seriously, how can one expect to get medicine for €1.50. The levels of controls required in the pharmaceutical world are huge and as soon as there is any issue with a drug the public (rightly) goes mental. But you can't expect to be able to control medicine to the required level if it there isn't any margin in it.

          Pharmaceutical companies already get in huge difficulties with Health Authorities when there are issues with low stock, etc.

          I am happy to declare my interest here of course in that I work in this area but it just gets my goat that someone will pay €1000 for a tv and give out about the cost of life-saving medicine.
          The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw


          Comment


            #6
            TBH I'd be happy to pay a £1.50 charge every time I renewed an inhaler, or something like that, whenever it's a relatively infrequent item. I should also point out that back when the renewal charge was £6.50-£7 and I had to take steroids as well, I was also able to pay a flat fee of £80 which meant that for 12 months I would get any medicine I was prescribed free of any additional charge.

            WRT your last paragraph, the difference is that if you need medicine, you NEED it - it's not like you have a choice, unlike whether you decide to spend a grand on a telly or whatever. So if medicines are to be a high cost item without which you can't live, illness automatically creates/exacerbates poverty - particularly for those who slip between the gaps in the net due to earning a low income which nonetheless is high enough to exclude them from accessing services available for free to those on social security benefits, state pensions etc. It increases the probability that to be ill is to be poor. Low-cost (or free at point of use) medicine and healthcare needs to exist in order ensure equality in any society wishing to refer to itself as advanced, or civilised.
            Tis but a scratch.

            Comment


              #7
              They will pay €1000 for a telly maybe once every 5-10 years, €500 being the average.
              And yes you have a vested interest and it clearly shows. I see Healthwave are charging between 33-66% of the prices being charged in Cork and their operating out of Dundrum Town Centre where rents and rates I expect are quite high, so if they can do it without the €7 per item dispensing fee and I the mark ups why can't the average pharmacy in a one horse town in North Cork do it ?
              We'll engrave your name in gold, as we did in days of old.
              Roll along lovely Axel, roll along.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SecondRowGal View Post
                Maybe "consumer" was the wrong word, but seriously, how can one expect to get medicine for €1.50..
                Perhaps it's because the exact same medicine, with exactly the same ingredients, with exactly the same efficacy is for sale five miles down the road for one tenth of the price?

                A workmate does a trip to prague twice a year to stock up on his and mis missus' scripts. They go for five days each time, have a ball and buy their medicine for a very low percentage of what they would pay here in Ireland.

                Profit taking is all that it is. It is not the supply chain or taxation!
                Hibernicis natione, Mumhan per gratiam Dei

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Mack the Knife View Post
                  They will pay €1000 for a telly maybe once every 5-10 years, €500 being the average.
                  And yes you have a vested interest and it clearly shows. I see Healthwave are charging between 33-66% of the prices being charged in Cork and their operating out of Dundrum Town Centre where rents and rates I expect are quite high, so if they can do it without the €7 per item dispensing fee and I the mark ups why can't the average pharmacy in a one horse town in North Cork do it ?
                  I don't know why they can't Mack, and I am surprised to be honest that there aren't more of these Healthwave pharmacies which I think are a great idea. For years pharmacies were closed shops, literally, so anything that opens them up to competition is good news in my book. I hope that more of them come on stream, it can only bra. Good thing.

                  But the pharmacies dispensing fees are a different point to what I was making and that was the costs of the actual medicine itself. If we lose the TV analogy and also bring on board what Chippy said about medicine being something that you need, let's compare it to food, which you also need. Medicines are still expected to be cheaper than food with twice/three times the amount of controls needed.
                  The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by huron View Post
                    Perhaps it's because the exact same medicine, with exactly the same ingredients, with exactly the same efficacy is for sale five miles down the road for one tenth of the price?

                    A workmate does a trip to prague twice a year to stock up on his and mis missus' scripts. They go for five days each time, have a ball and buy their medicine for a very low percentage of what they would pay here in Ireland.

                    Profit taking is all that it is. It is not the supply chain or taxation!
                    Yes Huron, and as I said above that's because the drug reference pricing system in CZ is different to here. I'm not saying that it's right, I'm just saying that's the reality. In this case the government (I.e. Every taxpayer) is subsidising the costs. The costs are still there.

                    And show me one business that is not there to make a profit?
                    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw


                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hmm - I'm not 100% convinced on the food comparison either, to be honest. Everybody needs food, so it forms a part of the minimum outlay that every single person expects to make in order to live. Not everybody needs a regular prescription for medicine, which means that anything other than the lowest minimum pricing for drugs essential for life/normal existence presents a real risk of exacerbating social inequality, whereby those who can least afford to be ill are those most disproportionately affected by the additional costs they face when they do fall ill. This is before you account for the fact that those who are wealthier also tend to be healthier anyway.

                      By the way, I'm not saying any of this in order to have a pop at people who work in pharmacies and their right to earn a decent living (although having lived most of my adult life in the north, the notion of a "dispensing fee" does sound suspiciously like taking the pi$$ to me) but as a comment on how governments - and therefore societies - choose to spend their taxes and ensure proper care for those who are most vulnerable. Speaking as someone who is by now essentially on the outside looking in, it would appear to me that in this regard, Ireland is a disgrace to the notion of a civilised society.
                      Tis but a scratch.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Very well put Chippy. What I find infuriating is that I can't order online from
                        the UK without risking getting in trouble with customs and the Irish Medicine Cartel.
                        We'll engrave your name in gold, as we did in days of old.
                        Roll along lovely Axel, roll along.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just a note Chippy ... The NHS charge in England is £7.85. I believe you don't pay one either in Scotland and Wales.

                          There is also a prepayment card in England, which is £104 per annum, and you don't pay anything after that.

                          I know a lot of Irish people who load up on asthma inhalers when they go to Spain and Portugal. My Mum gets her ventolin for something like €1.50 a pop in Portugal. Saves a fortune.
                          Please support Milford Hospice. Click here to donate.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sounds like they still operate the same system over there which applied here until the local minister changed things around. I get the impression though that in many ways, the principle of the NHS is being steadily eroded in England. One of the clearer benefits of devolution here has been the ability to at least postpone that process, although I'm sure it won't be possible to actually stave it off entirely.
                            Tis but a scratch.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by SecondRowGal View Post
                              I don't know why they can't Mack, and I am surprised to be honest that there aren't more of these Healthwave pharmacies which I think are a great idea. For years pharmacies were closed shops, literally, so anything that opens them up to competition is good news in my book. I hope that more of them come on stream, it can only bra. Good thing.

                              But the pharmacies dispensing fees are a different point to what I was making and that was the costs of the actual medicine itself. If we lose the TV analogy and also bring on board what Chippy said about medicine being something that you need, let's compare it to food, which you also need. Medicines are still expected to be cheaper than food with twice/three times the amount of controls needed.
                              I'm with SRG on this but also need to declare I also work in the Pharmaceutical area.

                              I've worked directly on two clinical drugs over the years that cost an estimated 1.5 billion USD between them to develop and never got to market after clinical trials due to safety in one case, and efficacy/effectiveness in the second case.
                              "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

                              Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

                              Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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