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Parliamentary questions
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5 February 2020
Question for written answer E-000657/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Clare Daly (GUE/NGL)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Price of asthma inhalers

Asthma is a chronic and long-term illness, but is not classified as a long-term illness in Ireland under the Long-Term Illness Scheme which would provide free medication for asthma sufferers. Consequently, asthma sufferers are burdened with a comparatively high recurring cost for asthma inhalers, especially when compared to the cost of the same drugs in tablet form. The introduction of generic alternatives has not driven down prices commensurate with the introduction of generic alternatives to other drugs.

1. Does the Commission intend to work towards standardising pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement across the Union, especially with regard to chronic and long-term illnesses such as asthma?

2. What mechanisms are in place at EU level to investigate and prevent pharmaceutical companies setting artificially high prices for medications required to treat chronic and long-term illnesses such as asthma?

3. What mechanisms exist for assessing the effectiveness of pharmaceutical competitiveness (including the introduction of generic medicines) in driving down the prices of medication for consumers within captive markets, such as those suffering from long-term illnesses like asthma?

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