Speaking following a meeting of the Health Committee today at which the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) gave evidence Ms McLaughlin, chair of the health committee said:
“The ABPI were in front of the committee today on the health minister’s statement during the week on greater access to specialised drugs.
“During this evidence session the ABPI said that £14m had been returned to the north in 2014 and as much as £30m may be returned this year.
“This money is meant to be targeted at specialised drugs. The glaring question is that while this fund is in operation where has this money been spent?
“The committee today asked for a breakdown of where this money has gone.
“The health minister is proposing the re-introduction of prescription charges in order to pay for specialised drugs, including cancer drugs. There is a need therefore for the minister to explain where the money from the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme has been spent.
“Following concerns raised by the Finance Minister about how the health budget is managed this is a legitimate and fair question.”