Opening statement by Ms Sandra Gannon,

General Manager, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland,

to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children

5th of March 2015

Press Release



Ireland needs long-term strategy to meet future medicine needs – Teva

7th of May 2014

Strategy vital to maintaining affordability, sustainability and availability of medicines for Irish patients

Population demographics and increase in chronic diseases key considerations, with prescriptions estimated to increase by 40% by 2012.

Ireland needs a long-term strategy which maps out and plans what Ireland’s future medicine needs will be and how this demand can be met, a healthcare symposium has heard today (Wednesday).

Sandra Gannon, General Manager of Teva Pharmaceutical Ireland (‘Teva’), Ireland’s largest supplier of prescription medicines speaking at a breakfast symposium which took place today at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland has warned that ‘medicine usage is no different from any other part of our healthcare system, we must have a long-term national strategy to meet future demands and to ensure Irish patients do not lose out’.

Today’s symposium brought together national and international experts to debate and discuss where medicine policy in Ireland now stands and to examine how we manage, meet and afford medicine needs of the Irish population in the years ahead.

The event was also attended by healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, GPs and consultants, health policymakers, healthcare economists and patient representatives.

According to Ms. Gannon: ‘demands on our health services are growing so long-term planning is critical. We already know that the provision of medicines to patients is facing challenges brought about by an aging population which is living longer and the increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes or obesity. This will place huge pressures on our current provision of medicines to patients, not least in terms of the affordability, sustainability and availability of such medicines, However, we currently do not have a long term strategy mapping how we achieve this objectives – we need to start planning for the future now’.

Fellow speaker, Patrick Moore, Trinity College Health Economist and a Researcher currently working as part of the Government’s TILDA Research Project, which aims to survey and predict the healthcare needs of Ireland’s older population in the decades’ ahead noted:

‘Projecting ahead based on emerging health data, it is reasonable to expect the number of medicine prescriptions prescribed in Ireland will increase by almost 40% (38%) by 2021. This amounts to an increase from 76 million prescriptions per annum in 2012 to 105 million by 2021 and will present huge challenges, particularly in terms of affordability’.

Adrian van den Hoven, Director General of the European Generic Medicine Association, speaking at the symposium also noted:

‘It is estimated that speciality or high-tech medicines will account for up to 50% of national medicine expenditure across the EU by 2018. However, a pro-active move to increased use of biosimilar medicines and complex generics in European healthcare systems offers a significant opportunity for national governments to maintain the affordability and availability of medicines to patients, without compromising on patient care’.

Attendees also heard calls for Government to develop and implement, following consultation with key stakeholders, a National Strategy on Medicine Usage, which will map future medicine demands for the next decade and ensure that patients’ healthcare care needs are prioritised.


For further information contact:

Amanda Glancy, pr360 01 6371777/087 2273108

Notes to editors

About Teva:

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to increasing access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic drugs as well as innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world's leading generic drug maker, with a global product portfolio of more than 1,300 molecules and a direct presence in about 60 countries. Teva currently employs approximately 46,000 globally and reached $18.3 billion in net revenues in 2011.

Teva in Ireland

  • Operates in both the generics and speciality branded medicines markets and is a leading supplier of medicine to the State;
  • The company employs 467 people at its Dundalk and Waterford (manufacturing) facilities;
  • Teva distributes 11,000 medicine packs per day in Ireland.


About biosimilars

A similar biological or 'biosimilar' medicine is a biological medicine that is similar to another biological medicine that has already been authorised for use. Biological medicines are medicines that are made by or derived from a biological source (living organism), such as a bacterium or yeast.

Biosimilars can only be authorised for use once the period of data exclusivity on the original 'reference' biological medicine has expired.

Biosimilars (or follow-on biologics) are terms used to describe officially approved subsequent versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products made by a different sponsor following patent and exclusivity expiry on the innovator product.  Unlike the more common small molecule medicines, biologics generally exhibit high molecular complexity.