Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Photo of Peadar TóibínPeadar Tóibín (Meath West, Aontú)
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333. To ask the Minister for Health the reason pain patches (Versatis) for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis are not included on the medical card; and if he will change the regulation to ensure that the medical card does cover this key pain killer. [12094/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Health Service Executive (HSE) has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

Reimbursement for medicines under the community drugs schemes is for licensed indications which have been granted market authorisation by the European Medicines Agency or the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

The following pain relief patches are currently available on the Reimbursement list:

- Durogesic DTrans Transdermal patches

- Fental Matrix Transdermal patches

- Matrifen Transdermal patches

- Fentadur Transdermal patches

- Butrans Transdermal patches

- Versatis plasters (subject to a managed access system, indicated for post-herpetic neuralgia)

Patients prescribed Versatis plasters are reviewed by the Medicines Management Programme (MMP) for reimbursement approval, on foot of an application by the patient’s clinician, through the HSE online system.

In exceptional circumstances, Versatis plasters may be approved for supply for unlicensed uses. If an application is refused, the clinician may make an appeal to the MMP by email, making a clear clinical case for the patient.

This process ensures that post-shingles patients, and other patients as clinically appropriate, can continue to have this specific treatment.


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