Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

188 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children the details of the decision-making process for the inclusion or exclusion of medicines under the medical card scheme; the persons who decide this matter; the criteria used in such decisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22047/02]

A common list of reimbursable medicines was introduced for the general medical services scheme and the drug payment scheme. This list ensures equity between the general medical services and drug payment schemes in relation to the range of medicines paid for by the State under both schemes. This common list is subject to ongoing review and amendment on a monthly basis as new products become available and deletions are notified. Applications for inclusion in the common list are examined on a monthly basis by the products committee, consisting of a range of representatives from within the Department. In order for any item to be included in the common medicines list it must comply with a published list of criteria.