medicines for Ireland


MFI Vision Strategy 2024-2029

Medicines for Ireland launches new 2024 – 2029 Vision Strategy

Suppliers of generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines unveil vision to enhance patient access and affordability, secure a resilient supply chain, and embed sustainable practices by 2029

Medicines for Ireland (MFI) has published its new five-year vision Looking forward: Building the framework for a sustainable generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industry in Ireland. The vision sets out MFI’s approach to address current and emerging market challenges, including demographic shifts, access to medicines, and inflationary pressures.

In developing its new Vision Strategy 2024 – 2029, MFI member companies focused on three core strategic pillars:

  1. Enhancing patient access and affordability through delivering a coherent framework agreement with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive which facilitates innovation, patient centricity and value.
  2. Securing a resilient and competitive supply chain ecosystem by championing local and European policies that support medication supply in Ireland.
  3. Embedding industry sustainability through fostering a balanced approach to environmental practices which don’t overshadow public health benefits and accelerating the adoption of electronic patient information leaflets.

MFI’s overarching objective is to effect real change and reform around how Ireland procures and supplies medicines, expanding patient access to affordable, lifesaving and life-enhancing treatment. Commenting on how the new strategy will allow the industry to deliver on this ambition, Chair of MFI, Paul Neill said: “It’s well documented how Ireland’s healthcare system is facing formidable challenges underscoring the urgent need for reform to ensure affordability, efficiency and sustainability for patients and the State. In the context of these challenges, the significance of a resilient and sustainable generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industry cannot be overstated.

“This year, the Department of Health has projected that almost €3 billion will be spent on medicines, representing nearly €1 in every €8 spent by the State on healthcare. Health policy decision makers must recognise how increased penetration of generic, biosimilar, and value-added medicines offers significant savings to the State and the opportunity for earlier treatment interventions for more patients. This further expands the opportunity to redirect scarce resources to other areas of the healthcare system. Currently generics account for 58 per cent of all prescribed medicines in Ireland behind the European average of 70 per cent.”

Mr Neill added: “There are several influencing factors causing Ireland to lag our European counterparts when it comes to generic penetration which must be addressed. These include reduced price entry point, downward only pricing structures, and lengthy timelines for price uplifts for unviable products. These factors have an overall impact on the attractiveness of the Irish market for manufacturers. To fully realise the potential of enhanced patient access and affordability through increased penetration, it is pivotal that we foster a market ecosystem which promotes fair competition and availability of medicines over the next five years.

“From the perspective of our members, key to this must be the delivery of a coherent framework agreement on the supply and pricing of medicines with the Department of Health. To help alleviate some of the pressure points faced by the industry, any new agreement must embrace tiered pricing, de-linkage from the originator price model, and automatic indexation models. As an industry body, we are committed to championing dynamic policies that support competition through balanced price control measures, aligned with demand side policies which incentivise the use of generic, biosimilar, and value-added medicines which benefit patient access and affordability.”

Pictured at the launch of the Medicines for Ireland (MFI) new five-year Vision Strategy are Chair of MFI, Paul Neill and Vice-Chair of MFI, Deirdre Kelly.

Established in 2016, MFI is the leading voice for the generic, biosimilar, and value-added medicines industry with its members supplying the majority of medicines to the HSE and patients directly. Generic companies play an essential role in the supply of prescription medicines in Ireland, with eight of the top 10 companies in the total prescription market (based on volume of units) supplying generic medicines. Six of these are MFI members.

Commenting on the roll-out of the association’s five-year strategy, Vice-Chair of MFI, Deirdre Kelly said: “Our members remain steadfast in their focus on ensuring access to essential medicines in Ireland. The commitments and deliverables detailed under the three core strategic pillars in our Vision Strategy present a clear roadmap to drive patient-centric solutions that prioritise value, accessibility, and quality for patients, healthcare providers and the State. In line with the OECD’s recommendations, we are well-positioned to support and deliver increased use of generic, biosimilar, and value-added medicines.

“Recognising the interconnected nature of healthcare delivery, policy frameworks, and economic considerations, our ambitions will only be achieved through a collective and collaborative partnership approach. Working with industry partners, we will advocate for fair policies that balance value for patients and the State with medication supply viability for the industry. We consider our Vision Strategy as a call to action. By collaborating with stakeholders, policymakers, and healthcare professionals, we can shape a future where patients receive high-quality, affordable medicines in a resilient healthcare ecosystem,” Ms Kelly concluded.

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