Dáil Éireann - Volume 522 - 28 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Drugs Refund Scheme.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
 138. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will ensure that the drug Optimax, which is being prescribed by consultants in St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, as an effective treatment for depression, is recognised under the drug refund scheme to avoid hardship to the patients prescribed this medication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18601/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Since 1 July 1999 a common list of reimbursable medicines was introduced for the GMS scheme and community drugs schemes. For any medicine to be included in the common list, it must comply with a published list of criteria. These range from the uses for and licensing of medicines to the pricing of products. As the product referred to by the Deputy does not have a valid product authorisation from the Irish Medicines Board it does not qualify for inclusion on the common list of reimbursable medicines.
However, the Deputy will be pleased to learn that a protocol was drawn up to set out the circumstances and conditions in which a necessary unlicensed medicine may be reimbursed by the State, where lawfully supplied. Applications for reimbursement which meet the circumstances and conditions set out in the protocol are approved by the relevant agency, that is, the General Medical Services (Payments) Board or the local health board.
Dáil Éireann 522 Written Answers. Drugs Refund Scheme.