Pharma companies are always working on new drugs and treatments, with patients and doctors hoping for them to come available as soon as possible.
However they usually come with a high price tag, and this week the HSE was refused more funding for new medicines from the Dept of Health.
So why would they be refused? What are the costs involved? And how do you place a value on a potential life-lengthening treatment for a patient?
Michael Barry is Clinical director of National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics at St James's and he explained how it all works to Ivan, and why these drugs aren't always good value for money.