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Written Answers - Medicinal Products

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 501.  Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher  asked the Minister for Health in view of Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the fact that the drug Pradaxa has been, shown to be significantly more effective than warfarin in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation an further that it has been shown to be cost effective and can deliver real long term savings to the Health Service Executive by reducing the number of AF related stoke survivors requiring long term nursing home care and in view of the fact that the drug has overwhelming support from healthcare professionals, the reason the HSE continue to deny this innovative treatment to suitable Irish patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24115/12]

 502.  Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the reason the Health Service Executive continue to deny access to the drug Pradaxa to GMS and DPS patients when its availability is likely to not only save many families from the devastation of a stroke but it will also deliver recoverable long term savings to the State by reducing the number of stroke survivors requiring long term nursing home care at a cost of approximately €50,000 per patient per year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24117/12]

 503. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher  asked the Minister for Health in view of Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the fact that the Health Service Executive National Clinical Stroke Programme aims to prevent one stroke per day and to avoid death or dependence in one patient every day the reason the executive continue to deny thousands of patients with atrial fibrillation with access to Pradaxa that has been proven [498]to reduce the risk of stroke, has been proven to be cost effective and yield long term savings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24118/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 to 503, inclusive, together.

Pradaxa is available under the GMS Scheme, the Drug Payment Scheme and other community drugs schemes for the prevention of blood clots in adult patients who have undergone elective hip replacement surgery or elective knee replacement surgery.

The HSE is assessing the availability of resources to provide for the long term treatment with Pradaxa for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. This is a complicated process with long term implications. The HSE wrote to all GMS doctors and community pharmacy contractors in November 2011 to clarify the position in relation to Pradaxa. The HSE will continue to update healthcare professionals in relation to the matter. The HSE does not intend to disturb established therapeutic regimens for patients whose treatment with Pradaxa for the prevention of stroke was initiated prior to the clarification.


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