GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK), a pharmaceutical company that will provide a new meningitis B vaccine for all infants, met Leo Varadkar’s special adviser shortly before a price deal was struck with the company.
According to the lobbying register, Liam Cullen, government-affairs director at GSK, met Brian Murphy, adviser to the Fine Gael health minister, on October 2 to discuss the introduction of the vaccine and brief him on “supply timelines should the government decide to launch a programme”.
Ireland became the second country in Europe, following Britain, to introduce a free meningitis B vaccine for infants after a deal was struck with GSK last month.
The register shows that GSK discussed its 2015 acquisition of rival drug company Novartis’s vaccines portfolio for €4.8bn, noting it now had potential to “broaden the national immunisation schedule with particular focus on meningitis B”. A note states there was “no specific agenda” for the meeting.