Ireland to join international alliance for negotiating drug prices

The Beneluxa Initiative includes Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg

Ireland to join international alliance for negotiating drug prices

The Bayer cross glowing over the factory premises of the chemical and pharmaceutical group Bayer Leverkusen, 07-05-2018. Image: Oliver Berg/DPA/PA Images

Ireland is set to join an international alliance aimed at securing affordable and timely access to new medicines for Irish patients.

The Minister for Health will sign an agreement to join Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in the existing Beneluxa Initiative on Pharmaceutical Policy.

Simon Harris will sign the document at the EPSCO Council of Ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

Set up in 2015 – the alliance aims to increase transparency on pricing and enhance patient access to treatments.

A spokesperson for Minister Harris said the collaboration will strengthen the collective bargaining position for all the countries in the alliance – while also increasing transparency on pricing.

The collaboration will also provide opportunities for sharing information and expertise on medicines – allowing national health challenges to be anticipated more effectively.