Dáil debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Topical Issue Debate

Medicinal Products Availability

6:50 pm

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin Bay North, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I share the sentiments expressed by the Deputy on this important issue. The manufacturers' estimate of the eligible population in Ireland that might be considered for treatment with Sativex if reimbursement was improved is approximately 830. The Deputy is correct that the cost is estimated to be €4,000 to €5,000 per patient per annum. Using the company's population data it is predicted that the gross budget impact in year one would be €396,901, rising to €797,041 in a five-year period. The actual number of people who might qualify if reimbursement was agreed by the HSE would depend on a range of factors, including any conditions that the HSE might attach in relation to approval, including, for example, approval arrangements to be complied with or clinical criteria to be met.

It is important to note that Sativex is licensed throughout the UK but not reimbursed by the NHS. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE, has recommended that health practitioners do not offer Sativex to treat spasticity in people with MS because it is not a cost effective treatment. This is the NICE's view. The assessment of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, NCPE, of Sativex informed further engagements and negotiations between the HSE and the supplier. At this stage, the HSE is awaiting further engagement with the supplier. There is an issue with regard to the price structures and overpricing and this is the message I will bring back to the Minister, Deputy Harris, because we must all make a contribution on this. I will make the views of the Deputy known.


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