Highly Charged


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This afternoon.

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Protesters, including Cystic Fibrosis sufferer Jillian McNulty (above) outside Leinster House expressing dismay at the Health Service Executive decision to not fund the Cystic Fibrosis Orkambi tablet over ‘exorbitant charging’. The drug costs $259,000 a year in the United States.

Meanwhile, inside the Dáil chamber:

….Enda Kenny said there was a big difference between the €160,000 being sought per patient annually by Vertex (makers of Orkambi and the €30,000 value put on the drug by the National Pharmaceutical Agency.

Amid exchanges with the Opposition, Mr Kenny said he did not hear the company say it was prepared to come way down on the price.

“If they are prepared to come way down from €160,000 per patient, well then let us see what they are talking about,’’ he added.

Orkambi company charge ‘grossly excessive’, says Kenny (Irish Times)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews


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This afternoon.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin address protestors.

Leah Farrell/Roillingnews

18 thoughts on “Highly Charged

  1. postmanpat

    So effed up . roll on the home 3d printing molecular synthesis machines. where you will be able to print a pill that used to be $12 a go until some snake bought the company and decided to up the price by 6250 percent. Think about it, print a drug you need to keep breathing as easily as bit-torrenting an episode of The Walking Dead? What will big pharma do? lower prices ? the horror!! And before you all go “research… costs of trials and R & D …”ect, just remember, It has been scores of life saving drugs that have been around for years that are getting the hikes.

  2. Cian

    The trials for this drug show main outcomes within a margin of error and a secondary outcome that could be a fluke. It’s a hell of a lot of money for bog all.

  3. scottser

    why don’t we just rip off the patent and make the drug here, for our own use?
    unscrupulous for sure, but to get all spock about it, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few , or the one.

  4. Cian

    I’m don’t think that the HSE should just splurge any amount of money on these drugs. If they play hard-ball with the company may get a better deal.
    At the moment it is €160K x ~550 patients = €88 million per year.

    That is a lot of money.

    1. postmanpat

      but what kind of mad way do we play hard-ball? how much do Apple owe Europe (and us) and WE are fighting THEIR corner?

      1. Medium Sized C

        We are fighting our own corner.
        As in our right to determine our own corporate tax regime.
        As in the thing our economy is precariously perched on now that we don’t build houses.

    2. ronan

      Do you know how much money a year is spent on people with cystic fibrosis when they stay in hospital per patient its well over 300k thats 140k saved on one person a year.

  5. ahjayzis

    I don’t understand why the EU doesn’t club together to buy in bulk. We’re being picked off by these vultures, charged extortionate amounts over larger markets.

  6. Junkface

    US Pharma Companies are scum of the Earth! Ripping off sick people, pure evil.

    And look at Michael Martin there pretending to be a “human” with “concerns” and “feelings”. That guy is a Fianna Fail template come to life. He’ll say anything, do complete 180’s on ANY topic, to get elected. 100% full of s h 1 t e !

  7. Truth in the News

    We have a State Laboratory that should should be quite able to find out what this substance comprises of
    and synthesise it, without infringing any patent.

    1. Bonkers

      yeah but the State laboratory is too busy testing cannabis for the Gardai to have time for anything else

    2. martco


      I suspect this business touches on something else entirely however. our FG/FF politicians clearly can’t motivate themselves enough aggression to get stuck in and sort this out even on a should it cause infringement so be it basis…they’re scared of their shite that big pharma will pull out of the best little country to do business in and shows the only thing that matters is the optics of big job announcements and a similar dread of job losses which won’t get them re-elected now will it? theres no Dr Noel Browne here just small minded schoolteachers

  8. Michael Neville

    This is the reason that the so called free trade deals TTIP CETA should be scrapped they are just protecting monoply pricing in pharmaceuticals and information technology

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