Thursday, 14 November 2019
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Medicinal Products Availability
With all due respect, why is the Minister of State here to tell us what the Minister, Deputy Harris, has been advised? Surely he should be here to tell us what he has been advised.
The suggestion that administering the drug requires complex service arrangements is not new. I was told this many months ago by the children waiting for this drug, who knew all of this in advance. We knew about this before June. We have been told today, following approval of the drug last June, that the HSE is currently working on the facilities to administer the drug. What comfort and reassurance does that give to any child waiting on the drug? Three of the four children receiving this drug only started on it this month.
Why was the drug approved to great fanfare last June? It seems that the Minister, Deputy Harris, is quite keen to get the stress and pressure off his back. He will say whatever he needs to get out of a sticky situation. Making announcements of that nature, getting people's hopes up and then not delivering on them is cruel.
We in the House want to know when the Minister became aware that a new service and team would be required to administer this drug. When will the budget be made available to administer this drug? When will the remaining children receive Spinraza? We want a date and timeline, not more broken and empty promises and no delivery.