Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (244)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

244. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he will revise the current dosage criteria for certain prescribed drugs and medicines for medical card recipients, for example Prozac, to ensure that patients who are recipients of a medical card and in need of certain medication are not over-subscribing on their recommended dosage in order to avail of medicine that is covered by the medical card. [29854/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Prozac® is a brand name of a medicine which contains fluoxetine and which belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). All medicines containing fluoxetine authorised for the Irish market are Prescription Only Medicines, i.e. may only be supplied on foot of a prescription from a medical practitioner. Fluoxetine products are used to treat major depressive episodes, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Bulimia Nervosa. In the prescribing information, the usual starting dose of fluoxetine is 20 mg daily for adults. It may be necessary for the prescriber to increase the dose depending on the response of the patient to a maximum of 60 mg daily for adults. As for all prescribed medicines, patients who have been prescribed fluoxetine medicines should be reviewed periodically by their treating medical practitioner to ensure that both the medicine and the dose continue to be a suitable treatment for the individual patient.

There are no dosage criteria in place for prescribed drugs and medicines reimbursed under the GMS or other community drug schemes operated by the HSE. Prescribers are responsible for prescribing the appropriate dosage level of a medicine in accordance with the patient's clinical needs. The supply of prescription medicines is controlled in law in a number of ways. Under the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations, it is prohibited for a person to supply a prescription only medicine except in accordance with a prescription, and the supply must be made from a registered pharmacy by or under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist. A person who contravenes these Regulations is guilty of an offence.