Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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336. To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 543 of 4 May 2022, if his attention has been drawn to the use of online consultations by some pharmacies here that result in medicine being prescribed; and if he will consider broadening the range of medicines that these providers can prescribe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23963/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Department of Health is committed to the ethos of ensuring that the right care is delivered in the right place and at the right time for all citizens and recognises that all healthcare professionals have a role to play in optimising patient care and service delivery in line with this vision.

Pharmacists are experts in medicines and are the professionals optimally placed by virtue of their training to optimise the rational use of medicines in the health system for best patient outcomes, and in partnership with prescribing colleagues, to maximise the benefits and minimise the potential for patient harm when using medicines and pharmacological interventions.

The system of controls around prescribing and dispending of human prescription controlled medicinal products (excepting those products subject to additional parameters under the Misuse of Drugs Acts and Regulations) is derived from the framework of Directive 2001/83/EC and Regulation (EC) No 726/2004, and is implemented nationally by the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 2003-2022. These regulations apply an up-to-date and comprehensive system of control to medicinal products and identify those products which may only be supplied on medical prescription. They define what a “prescription” is with reference to those healthcare professionals who are entitled to prescribe. Pharmacists do not currently prescribe prescription controlled medicinal products, but dispense such products in accordance with the authority conferred to supply, underpinned by a validly issued prescription.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the Competent Authority in Ireland responsible for deciding the legal supply category for a medicine. The supply category is specific to the product and is part of the marketing authorisation.

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