26/11/14 Senator Daly addresses the Seanad and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar Regarding Pricing and Reimbursement of Medicinal Products under the Community Drug Schemes

Senator Daly: I welcome the Minister and thank my colleague, Senator Darragh O’Brien, for campaigning on this issue in recent months. We have the expertise of Senator John Crown who has said no drug works in all circumstances. We have all received testimony on individual cases. The drug, fampridine, was approved on 23 July and patients were able to access it under the general medical card scheme. However, two days later it was put on trial by the HSE and in November, despite people being told they would be able to use it for six months, a particular lady was told she would no longer be allowed to receive it from her pharmacist. The pharmacist was informed not to dispense it to her and she cannot afford to pay for it. That is both a bad process and unfair. The circumstances of the lady in question had improved vastly because of the drug and her mobility had improved. As she can no longer receive it, she is confined to bed. This is a case in which the HSE promised the drug would be available for six months, but it then took it away. Perhaps the Minister might examine the case.

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