Today it’s the Indos turn. Not being too paranoid I have to wonder what or who put them up to it. Maybe a little off the cuff comment when they were talking about something else to a HSE or Dept of Health spokesperson. Or did they just decide out of the goodness of their hearts to have a go at pharmacists? We will probably know the answer to that one by the timing and the content of the next HSE/PCRS announcement on pricing rates.
So they consulted three pharmacies. Albeit they represent 163 pharmacies between them. I don’t think that three pharmacies is really a representative sample. And did they check with any independent Irish pharmacists? No, the Krauts and the Brits. Ok so they checked with Sam McAuleys as well but it strikes me as a three phone call piece of research and “Hey we have an article.”
Now if all the prices were the same we would have “No Competition between pharmacies” article so we were never going to win this one.
The headline spoke of a 354% mark-up but the detail of the article only mentioned Lipitor (no strength listed) with a 82% mark-up. It would be a bit unfair to let the details get in the way of the story.
In the article they compared prices with Northern Ireland. The first thing that comes to mind for me is that the North has all the advantages of being part of a 55 million strong population in economic terms. Because they still bow to the queen they get the benefits of the much bigger market on the mainland. As is often quoted the entire Irish market can easily fit into the greater Manchester area. When the RoI has as much buying power as the UK and pharmaceutical companies have the same distribution costs as in the UK then maybe we can get the same prices.
I’m waiting for the article that lets us know how much it costs to buy a politician elsewhere in Europe compared to here. I suspect that we will find that we have the dearest politicians as well.