Question to the Minister for Health (Dr. Leo Varadkar, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the public consultation he commenced, regarding easier access to rescue drugs in emergencies, including epipens adrenaline, salbutamol, glucagon, naloxone, and glyceryl trinitrate; when consultation will be complete; when actions will be taken following the consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 19, May, 2015.
I launched a public consultation process on the wider availability of a number of prescription-only medicines used in emergency situations on 20 February. Members of the public and other stakeholders were asked to respond to the consultation by mid-March. Submissions have been received from a wide variety of respondents and analysis of these responses is underway.
The consultation forms part of a wider review which aims to explore the feasibility of setting up a system to allow appropriately trained non-medical persons to have ready access to certain prescription-only medicines for use in emergency situations, while ensuring that medicines continue to be controlled in an appropriate manner. My Department has also consulted with a number of healthcare organisations and agencies to ensure that the various options for extending the availability of certain prescription-only medicines for use in emergency situations are fully explored.
The outcome of these discussions and feedback from the public consultation are currently being considered. I expect to receive a report and policy recommendations shortly. I will then consider the report and make a policy decision on the best way to proceed. The report of the consultation will be made available on my Department’s website once this process is complete.