Ireland South candidate Adrienne Wallace slams high cost of medicines in the EU ‘Intellectual property policies are dangerous and unsustainable’, says Wallace

Release for immediate publication 01/05/2019

Ireland South candidate Adrienne Wallace slams high cost of medicines in the EU
‘Intellectual property policies are dangerous and unsustainable’, says Wallace

Across the EU, health systems are suffering the consequences of the intellectual property policies that have been foisted on countries by the pharmaceutical sector, according to Adrienne Wallace, People Before Profit candidate for Ireland South in the upcoming European elections.

In a statement, Ms Wallace said,

‘Intellectual property policies in health care work in the interest of the profits of pharmaceutical companies.

‘This is causing the prices of new medicines to increase rapidly. It means that an increasing number of treatments for life-threatening infections and diseases, such as Cancer and Hepatitis C, are unaffordable both for patients and national health systems.

‘For example, Sofosbuvir is an important medicine used to cure Hepatitis C. A full 12-week course costs just €104 to produce but the HSE is currently paying €47,361 for the course – €564 per pill.

‘CAR-T Cell Therapy is an emerging immunotherapy for use in the treatment of haematological cancers. It is one of the most expensive medicines in history, with the price set by Swiss drug company Novartis at $475,000 for a single infusion.

‘This medicine was developed with public funds at the University of Pennsylvania, and its inventor estimates its production cost at $20,000.

‘These examples show how rules over intellectual property are dangerous and unsustainable. I will press for a fundamental reform of intellectual property rules so that medicines that are developed from public funding can be accessed at cost price by all who need them’.

ENDS

For more information contact Adrienne Wallace on 086 311 9991