US drugs firm sues HSE for refusal to supply medicine to children - (The Irish Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • PTC Therapeutics has filed a lawsuit seeking to force Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) to fund its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug Translarna for two boys with the condition, The Irish Times reported.

  • The case is believed to be the first in which a drugmaker has used a mechanism that permits companies to ask Ireland's High Court to overturn funding decisions.

  • Although the therapy has been approved by Northern Ireland and 22 other European countries, the HSE rejected the therapy on grounds of cost-effectiveness and efficacy.

  • "We feel we have no option on behalf of the two boys but to appeal the HSE's decision," remaked Adrian Haigh, PTC's European director, who noted that the cost of the legal action will exceed any revenue the company will receive for the drug this year.

  • In its analysis, the HSE determined that Translarna would not be cost-effective at a cost of 411 000 euros per year, while negotiations between PTC and the HSE did not produce an agreement.

  • Haigh did not disclose the price PTC plan to charge for the drug but noted that the company offered a "confidential discount" in negotiations.

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