Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 20 March, 2002
Written Answers. - General Medical Services Scheme.
Mr. Haughey Mr. Haughey
 378. Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a drug (details supplied) which is used for the treatment of an over-active thyroid gland is not available on the medical card; if he will review this situation; the options available to a person who needs this, to pay for this drug; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8685/02]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): A common list of reimbursable medicines was introduced for the general medical services scheme and the drug payment scheme. This list ensures equity between the schemes in relation to the range of medicines paid for by the State under both. This common list is subject to ongoing review and amendment on a monthly basis as new products become available and deletions are notified. In order for any item to be included in the common medicines list it must comply with a published list of criteria. These range from their authorisation status where appropriate, their price and in certain cases the uses for which the products are intended. In addition, the products should ordinarily be supplied to the public only on foot of a medical prescription and should not be advertised or promoted to the public. As the product referred to by the Deputy does not have a product authorisation from the Irish Medicines Board and as such is not being marketed in this country by the manufacturer it is not included on the common list of reimbursable medicines.
However, the Deputy will be pleased to learn that a protocol, a copy of which is attached, 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 should therefore be made to the relevant agency – the General Medical Services (Payments) Board or the local health board.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. General Medical Services Scheme.