Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

Medicinal Products

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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390. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which he is satisfied regarding the availability and existence of sufficient stocks of drugs to treat existing and new medical conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17183/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Irish medicine supply chain has a different wholesaling model to other jurisdictions and additional stocks of medicines are routinely built into the model of pharmaceutical procurement in Ireland. The benefits of this model have been realised both during the response to Covid-19 and in preparations for Brexit and provides for supply chain resilience during periods of logistics disruption.

Unfortunately, medicine shortages can occur as they are a feature of modern health systems worldwide. There are a multitude of reasons why a medicine may not be available including: shortages of raw materials; manufacturing difficulties; or product recalls due to potential quality issues. Medicines shortages can therefore originate at any point in the supply chain and can involve and impact on many different stakeholders. Accordingly, medicines shortages require a multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder response to ensure patient safety, continuity of care and protection of public health.

Ireland has a multi-stakeholder medicine shortage framework in place, coordinated by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), to prevent, wherever possible, and manage medicine shortages when they occur.


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