Written answers

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Department of Health

Medicinal Products

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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476. To ask the Minister for Health the action being taken by the Government to address the ongoing situation in which 35 children with a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis cannot access to the drug therapy kaftrio; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31507/22]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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477. To ask the Minister for Health his Department have undertaken with the HSE to address the availability, eligibility and access to the drug therapy kaftrio; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31508/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 476 and 477 together.

Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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478. To ask the Minister for Health if there are plans to engage with the families of the 35 children with a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis who cannot access the drug therapy katftrio; and if he will provide an update or information on the ongoing situation facing children. [31509/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Since I was appointed Minister for Health, I have at all times prioritised the needs of patients and I have at every opportunity, made myself available to meet with patients and patient groups.

Kaftrio has been a life changing drug for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, and I want to see it made available to everyone who needs it.

I am advised that commercial discussions between the HSE and the manufacturer on extending the availability of the drug to these children are at a very sensitive stage, and that it would be inappropriate for me to engage with patient groups while those discussions are ongoing.

I certainly would not want to jeopardise those negotiations, which I hope can be brought to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone in the next few weeks.

I will be more than happy to meet with patient groups as soon as it is appropriate for me to do so.

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