Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (852)

Eoin Ó Broin


852. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Health the reason immunotherapy treatment is not being provided to cancer patients in public hospitals despite being recommended by oncologists; and if he will review this decision. [34995/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A standard assessment process is in place in the HSE for the approval of the reimbursement of new drugs and new indications for existing drugs. This is underpinned by the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines (2016) and the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. This process is intended to arrive at decisions on the funding of drugs that are clinically appropriate, fair, consistent and sustainable.

New drugs are licensed for use centrally by the European Medicines Agency. Once a drug is licensed the company may apply for HSE reimbursement using the standard process. All cancer drugs approved for reimbursement since 2012 have gone through this process.

The following immunotherapy agents have been approved for reimbursement by the HSE:

- Atezolizumab;

- Avelumab;

- Ipilimumab;

- Nivolumab;

- Nivolumab Ipilimumab; and,

- Pembrolizumab.

The complete list of cancer drugs, including immunotherapies, approved for reimbursement can be found on the HSE website at: