Thursday, 15th October 2015
- New regulations for emergency access to certain prescription-only medicines.
I am delighted that these new regulations will give access to life saving medicine in emergency situations. For the last four years I have worked with an excellent and dedicated team in UCC, led by Professor Jonathan Hourihane, campaigning for this change. Their commitment to providing a safer campus has been central to achieving this much needed reform.
The new regulations will allow life-saving rescue medicines, including adrenaline (epipens) for severe allergic reactions, to be administered by trained Pharmacists and trained lay persons in emergency situations. This will make access to adrenaline for the treatment of anaphylaxis more easily available at times and in settings where it is most needed.
Allergic reactions are not the only emergency situation that will be covered by this change. The new regulations will apply to a range of medicines affecting different conditions. It will mean easier access in emergency situations for people with angina, asthma attacks and diabetic hypoglycaemia among others. Also Entonox, will now be available for the management of severe pain, when used by emergency rescue organisations such as mountain rescue teams.
These are significant changes that can and will save lives. The new regulations will allow organisations such as colleges, workplaces and sports venues to hold these medicines and arrange for staff to be trained in their use. This is very welcome reform and it recognises the efforts of many who have campaigned for this change.