Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (551, 552, 598, 683)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

551. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in providing Spinraza to children suffering with SMA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44655/19]

View answer

Lisa Chambers

Question:

552. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health when children waiting for Spinraza can expect to receive the drug (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44656/19]

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John Curran

Question:

598. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the status of access to Spinraza for children that have spinal muscular dystrophy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44865/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

683. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in accessing Spinraza in view of the fact the HSE approved the drug four months ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45327/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 551, 552, 598 and 683 together.

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The 2013 Health Act specifies criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines. I have no role in this statutory process.

On 11 June 2019, the HSE Leadership Team approved access to the drug Spinraza for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type I, II or III on an exceptional and individualised basis.

The HSE has indicated that since July, 11 children have been approved for Spinraza treatment in Temple Street Hospital. Application for approval is based on clearly defined criteria and clinical guidelines being followed in each case. All patients who have been recommended clinically have been approved to date.

The actual delivery of this drug to approved patients in a safe and sustainable way requires very specific and quite complex service arrangements, which requires a considerable amount of service planning and assessment of patients at an individual level.

I have been advised by the HSE that Children's Health Ireland is currently engaging on an individual basis with the families involved regarding each child's treatment plan.