Price reductions on 29 medicines and introduction of new 14 generic medicines and 23 medicinal products of pharmacotherapeutic importance
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Rights, Public Cleansing and Support for the Capital City Deo Debattista announced price reductions on 29 medicines. These include medicines to prevent the formation of blood clots, medicines indicated in erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, neuropathic pain and anti-inflammatories. Patients can save up to €50 on the price of pregabalin prescribed in neuropathic pain which has been reduced by 67%. Other price reductions include 45% on eye drops for glaucoma, 30% on medicines for erectile dysfunction and 10% on antithrombotic medicines.
Simultaneously, 14 generic medicines are now accessible on the local market with a competitive price. Parliamentary Secretary Debattista announced that the medicine containing emtricitabine and tenofovir indicated for pre-exposure prophylaxis to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection is now available at a price of €95 for 30 tablets. Patients may benefit from discounts of up to 82% when compared to the originator. The same applies to the antibiotic fosfomycin where patients can save up to a maximum of 50%. All these medicines are registered with the Malta Medicines Authority ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy standards in line with the European legislation.
Parliamentary Secretary revealed that despite the challenges imposed by Brexit, accessibility to medicines has been improved by the introduction of 23 new medicinal products of pharmacotherapeutic importance. These include 13 point-of-care tests and new liquid formulations of the medicines fluoxetine and aripiprazole which are now accessible to patients who find difficulty in swallowing.
Price reductions of medicines is made possible by the cooperation of the Medicines Intelligence and Access Unit within the Malta Medicines Authority, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and the local and international pharmaceutical distributors who work in synergy to safeguard patient-centred care. The Medicines Intelligence and Access Unit provides a proactive and targeted approach to increase access to medicines through added value therapeutic interventions. Continuous dialogue with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and stakeholders ensures reasonable and fair prices of medicines. The Malta Medicines Authority also collaborates with the government entities and the Superintendent of Public Health to ensure that medicines do not fall out of stock.
The Malta Medicines Authority is committed to address the challenges and ensure continuous and sustainable access to medicines through scientific and robust work. The Malta Medicines Authority encourages its team to engage in continuous professional development and undertake ground-breaking research in strategic areas of the regulatory sciences. The Authority offers a fellowship program to encourage professionals to enrol for Masters and Doctorate studies in the pharmaceutical sector to strengthen their expertise.
Parliamentary Secretary Debattista concluded by saying that noteworthy initiatives are being implemented across all areas within the remit of the Medicines Authority to ensure that patients receive timely access to affordable, high-quality medicines that meet their medical needs.
MCCAA’s Chairperson Helga Pizzuto stated that a “constructive and ongoing dialogue with operators in the field of pharmaceuticals is key to reach agreement on cheaper prices." The Chairperson of the Malta Medicines Authority, Professor Anthony Serracino-Inglott, highlighted how the Medicines Authority is well prepared to ensure that Malta will not be affected by Brexit and in turn will not have out-of-stock situations with regards to medicine. The Medicines Authority has increased its capacity, while ensuring sustainability in the scientific regulatory functions and financial stability.