A new drugs pricing agreement with the Department of Health and the HSE will further curtail revenue growth at the Irish arm of pharma giant, Roche.
New accounts filed by Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd show that pre-tax profits fell by 31 per cent to €4.77 million in 2021.
The company sustained the drop in pre-tax profits despite revenues rising by 3 per cent to €105.03 million.
The main activity of the business is the sale of Roche branded medicines here and the directors state that “after the disruption caused to sales by Covid-19, the company returned to growth in 2021, albeit at a relatively modest level of less than 3 per cent.”
The directors state that a new Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) pricing agreement with the Department of Health and the HSE “will further curtail revenue growth over the coming years”.
The four-year deal was struck in December 2021 and the directors state that the deal will have three major impacts on the Swiss-owned business here.
The directors state that the impacts include a further reduction of the list price from 80 per cent to 62.86 per cent for patent expired biologic medicines; a further reduction in list price from 50 per cent to 40 per cent for patent expired non-biologic medicines and an increase in the rebate payable for medicines supplied to the HSE.
The directors state that the impact of Covid-19 and bio-similar erosion have made for challenges in trading over the last few years.
They say that despite the IPHA deal and impact of Covid-19, they “remain confident in both the underlying business and the pipelines of new medicines and new indications for existing medicines”.
They also expressed their concern at the length of time it takes for new medicine to be reimbursed here. They state that “Ireland continues to be one of the slowest countries in western Europe to reimburse new medicines".
"It is regrettable that such life-changing medicines are often available to patients in other EU countries well before they are available to patients in Ireland.”
On the 2021 performance, the directors state that there was continued strong growth delivered on newer medicine - Ocrevus for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Hemlibra for the treatment of haemophilia.
They also state that growth in the company’s breast cancer medicines, Perjeta and Kadcyla helped to offset some of the losses on Herceptin, Mabthera and Avastin to biosimilar competition.
The accounts confirm that the company paid out a dividend of €7 million in 2022 to Roche Products Ltd, following a dividend payout of €4.77 million in 2021.
The company also acts as a regional centre for the implementation of global clinical trial programmes.
Numbers employed by the company totalled 90 and staff costs in 2021 increased to €13.55 million that included severance costs of €938,000. Directors' pay totalled €907,000 made up of salary and bonuses of €762,000 and benefits in kind of €145,000.
At the end of December 2021, the firm had shareholder funds of €21.05 million.