Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (871)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

871. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the steps being taken to address the shortage of epilim chromospheres nationally and particularly in north County Dublin. [19375/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The company that markets Epilim products has confirmed to the HPRA that there is no shortage of Epilim products, including Chronosphere in Ireland. A company’s method of ensuring that there is equitable distribution of medicines to all patients in Ireland and reducing the possibility of the medicine being traded to companies outside of Ireland (which can cause shortages) can include placing a monthly allocation on the number of packs supplied to individual pharmacies. This is currently the case with products in the Epilim range. However, any pharmacy that needs more than the standard monthly allocation to fulfil the needs of patients (including patients who may be on higher doses) can contact the company to request more.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is aware of a recent issue where one wholesaler’s computer system incorrectly indicated to pharmacists that there was no stock as opposed to indicating that it was on allocation. The wholesaler has confirmed it will look to correct the issue and implement a system whereby a pharmacist is provided with the contact details should they need to increase their allocation in order to meet patient needs. The HPRA has contacted the impacted pharmacy in one case in North County Dublin, and can confirm that the pharmacy has had its allocation increased and the patient has received their medicine. The pharmacy has also been provided with contact details should they need to increase the allocation further.

Question No. 872 answered with Question No. 684.