The Irish Medicines Board €27 million funding from the pharmaceutical Industry.

O.K…From what I can gather from the E-Mails below from Kathleen Lynch, T.D, (Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People) in 2009 alone the Irish Medicines Board received 27.08 million euro from the pharmaceutical industry.  

Despite concerns over the Irish Medicines Board risking “Conflict of Interest ” with it’s close relationship to the pharmaceutical industry, their CEO Pat O’ Mahony’s previous employment within the same and committee members receiving pharmaceutical payment for speakers fees ect but not considered as staff, it appears that very little change has happened yet!

The IMB has not declared their conflict of interests as it was supposed to do in 2010 and the Irish Government has not instructed a policy whereby drug Industry “payments to Docs” is publicly available. It begs the question…why not, if there is nothing to hide?


Ref: AM525
27th May 2011

Ms Leonie Fennell

Dear Ms Fennell

Kathleen Lynch, T.D, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People has asked me refer to your most recent email concerning the Irish Medicines Board.

The Irish Medicines Board receives approximately 85% of its funding from fees paid by Industry with the remainder coming from the exchequer.  The IMB is moving towards becoming fully funded by Industry and it is envisaged that it will have achieved full self-financing within the next few years.

I trust that this information will be of some assistance to you.

Yours sincerely
P.P. Anne McGuire

Adrian McLaughlin
Private Secretary


Ref: AM525

F.A.O Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People.
Hi Kathleen/Anne,
Thank you for your reply dated 27/05/2001.
I’m sorry but could you clarify some points for me please, as I’m not sure I really understand your answer concerning the Irish Medicines Board.
Surely the 85% of “fees paid by the industry” does not mean fees paid from pharmaceutical companies? If this is the case, that can hardly constitute self-funding?
Can you tell me how many members of the IMB have financial ties to the industry?
Can you clarify how much money exactly was the 15% paid by the exchequer, say in the year 2009? I can work the rest out for myself!
As you haven’t addressed my concerns about ssri antidepressants side effects and the fact that they can include (inter alia), suicide, homicide, heart failure, breast cancer, stroke and birth defects, I would like to again, reiterate my request for an investigation into these drugs.
By the way, I do apologise if you feel I am putting you on the spot and I must say I do acknowledge the fact that you actually replied to me. I also sent an e-mail to our minister for health James O’Reilly on 10/03/2011 and considering the fact that he was originally a G.P, and would probably be in a better position to answer my queries, I am still awaiting a reply!
Yours sincerely,
Leonie Fennell


Ref: AM525

28th July 2011

Ms Leonie Fennell
Dear Leonie

Kathleen Lynch, T.D, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People has asked me refer to your email of 30th May 2011.

The Irish Medicine Board’s (IMB’s) code of conduct requires that staff may not hold any direct financial interest in any industry regulated by the IMB. Neither may staff be employed, carry out any consultancy or paid work of any kind or act as a director or partner in any regulated industry.

In 2009 the IMB received €4.062m from the Department of Health and Children.

On a final note, please be advised that Minister Kathleen Lynch has responsibility for this area and this issue does not come under the remit of Dr James Reilly T.D., Minister for Health.

I hope that this information will be of some assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

P.P. Anne McGuire

Adrian McLaughlin
Private Secretary

5 thoughts on “The Irish Medicines Board €27 million funding from the pharmaceutical Industry.”

  1. I see the same problems in Ireland as in the United States. This is the model the FDA works on in the USA. Have the industry fund it to save tax-payer money.
    However, then the pharmaceutical industry’s influence gets exerted in a number of ways. One, starting in 1992 [with the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA)], the influence was exerted by their directly funding, paying cash right up front, for FDA review. So in many ways, the FDA started looking upon the industry as their client, instead of the public and the public health, which should be the client.
    A second way in which the industry influence occurs is by having leaders in the drug division who are spineless and gutless, and who don’t like controversy. They don’t like to take on the very awesome forces of the drug industry and a lot of its indentured servants in academic medicine. So the attitude is “avoid conflict” — which means doing what the industry wants.
    A third way in which the industry’s influence has been allowed to grow considerably is the absence of congressional oversight. Before, whenever the FDA would make a mistake — there would be a congressional hearing. They would have to explain to the legislative branch of the government what went wrong. They would be — in the best public health sense — on the defensive to try and explain what went wrong.
    The FDA is an agency of the Public Health Service. Its primary mission is to improve the public health. You have to be very wary when — through a combination of being funded directly by the industry, as opposed to through the U.S. Treasury, and congressional influences which are pro-industry as opposed to pro-consumer — it starts moving in a way that is very favorable to the industry.


    1. Great video.
      I don’t know if members of the Irish medicines board had to sign an oath regarding the Irish constitution.
      I do know that under the IRISH MEDICINES BOARD ACT 1995, Section 4, Subsection 1(f) it states that the principal functions of the Board shall be, inter alia…
      (f) to establish and administer a service for obtaining and assessing information as regards the safety, quality and efficacy of medicinal products,
      Safety, quality and efficacy?? Didn’t do a very good job…did they? The european convention of human rights states that Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.



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