Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (561)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

561. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the early access to the medicines scheme launched in the UK; if there is a comparative plan here; and, if not, if he has any plans to develop one in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15194/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

On 14 March 2014, the UK Government announced the introduction of an Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) which aims to give patients with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions access to medicines that have not yet obtained a marketing authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

I understand that, under the EAMS, medicines will be provided to patients at no charge by the relevant pharmaceutical company until they are licensed by the MHRA. I also understand that the UK Government does not intend to establish a dedicated fund to support access to medicines under the Scheme.

There is currently no equivalent scheme in place in Ireland. I will closely monitor the implementation of the EAMS in the UK.