I have serious concerns for those suffering osteoporosis in Ireland should branded drugs be replaced with cheaper generic versions.
In recent weeks, I met with representatives of the Irish Osteoporosis Society who have outlined their concerns.
This follows similar moves in the UK where campaigners are attempting to reverse a decision to switch to generic medicines.
A study carried out last year highlighted that cheaper generic versions do not improve patients bone density as much as those who remain on branded drugs.
I have now secured a commitment that a deputation from the Irish Osteoporosis Society will be allowed make a presentation to the Joint Committee on Health & Children on this particular matter.
“Osteoporosis sufferers in my constituency of County Clare raised this matter with me over recent weeks. They are deeply concerned with the proposal that branded drugs would be replaced by generic ones in the treatment of their condition.
My constituents referenced a study carried out by scientist J. D Ringe last year which illustrated that people who switch to a cheaper version of a generic drug did not improve their bone density as much as
those who took the branded drug. This study also concluded that Generic patients had 50% less improvement in their DXA scan compared to patients who had continued to take branded medication.
Similar problems with severe side effects were also seen in a study by T. Solanki in 2008. This study came to the conclusion that patient who transferred back to branded medication from generic experienced no side effects and began to improve their bone density.
I understand that in the UK osteoporosis consultants together with the National Osteoporosis Society are desperately trying to reverse the move from branded to generic drugs due to the risk it places on osteoporosis patients.
I am happy to say that following my representations, a deputation from the Irish Osteoporosis Society will be allowed to make a presentation to the Joint Committee on Health & Children on this particular matter.
I would hope that their concerns are taken on board in an open manner and that exceptions can be made in light of this new medical evidence.”