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Written Answers - Medicinal Products

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 466.  Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the reasons the Multiple Sclerosis drug, Gilenya, remains unavailable to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23743/12]

 515.  Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  when Gilenya and Tysabri medication for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers will be available here; the reasons they are currently unavailable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24176/12]

 517.  Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  his plans to grant access to two approved and licensed treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24186/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 466, 515 and 517 together.

The manufacturer of Fingolimod (Gilenya®) has submitted an application to the HSE for the product to be reimbursed through community pharmacies under the High-Tech Drug Scheme. The list of medicinal products provided under the High-Tech Drug Scheme is reviewed on a regular basis. The application in respect of the product in question is currently under consideration.

Tysabri must be administered in specialist centres under the supervision of experienced medical staff. This requires significant ancillary support including timely access to MRI, nursing support, educational guidance and ongoing follow up with the patient to ensure its safe and appropriate use. This presents challenges for hospitals and the HSE. There is significant international discussion about the exact role of Tysabri and how to ensure the most appropriate safe, efficacious and cost effective use of this new technology in the treatment of Multiple [488]Sclerosis patients. In the current climate, the increasing use of high cost medical technologies represent a significant challenge to the health system and society at large. The HSE is committed to ensuring that the maximum possible benefit is provided to patients from within the resources which the HSE has available to it.

Question No. 467 answered with Question No. 460.


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