Doctors to attend Dail in call to halt profiteering in cancer medicines: Press Release

Comhlámh member group Access to Medicines (AMI) delivers the launch their Policy Document in Leinster House at the invitation of Dr Michael Harty, chair of the Oireachtas joint committee on Health.

 

“Escalating prices for new medicines put an ever-greater strain on the overall health budget”

 

Speaking in advance of the launch, AMI member Dr Keiran Harkin said.

 

“Fair and equitable access to effective medicines is critical to public health in Ireland and around the world.  We need to ensure to medicine prices are fair and affordable and that medicine research is directed proportionally to health need.  There are massive problems caused by the commercialisation of drug research and development.”

Dr Harkin continues

 

“The current research and development model is largely driven by commercial interests. A major consequence of the profit-driven system is that there is no incentive to develop drugs for conditions that predominantly affect poor populations. The current system results in exorbitant prices for drugs, particularly for cancer treatments, severely restricting access.”

He concluded,

 

High prices are levied because the exclusive patents of pharmaceutical companies allow them to charge as they please. The escalating prices for new medicines put an ever-greater strain on the overall health budget. The solution is not to ration the medication but to secure a fair price. Fair and equitable access to effective medicines is critical to public health in Ireland and around the world. Our policy document released today has a list of recommendations we can suggest as policy solutions for parties in Dail”

 

AMI is part of an international movement campaigning for reform of the current drug research and development model which allows the patent holder of a new drug charge whatever price the market will bear.  This model results in drug price tags of up to hundreds of euro per annum which denies huge numbers of patients access to new drugs globally. AMI proposes alternative models, which puts public health ahead of stakeholder profit and results in more appropriate drugs, at an affordable price.

ENDS

 

Notes

1 Access to Medicines (AMI) is a Comhlamh member group of medical professionals, activists, and concerned members of the public. It’s members are committed to ensuring that medicines are made accessible at a fair price and that medical research and innovation is directed at areas of greatest global health need.

 

2 Comhlamh is a membership based organisation set up in 1975 by Irish returned development workers, who defined the organisation’s principle objective as, “to enable persons who have rendered services overseas in developing countries upon their return to Ireland to bring to bear their own particular experience in order to further international development co-operation.”

 

3 The full policy document can be read and downloaded here.

 

 

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