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Medical Aids and Appliances

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 22 July 2020

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Questions (223)

Emer Higgins


223. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Health if he will make lidocaine patches available on the medical card to patients with cancer in need of pain relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17580/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

Following a review, the HSE introduced a new system for the reimbursement of the lidocaine 5% medicated plaster (Versatis), which is licensed only for the localised relief of post-shingles pain in adults.

Patients are reviewed by the Medicines Management Programme (MMP) for reimbursement approval, on foot of an application by the patient’s clinician, through the HSE online system.

In exceptional circumstances, the product may be approved for supply for unlicensed uses.

If an application is refused, the clinician may make an appeal, making a clear clinical case for the patient to the MMP at

This process ensures the appropriate use of the patch and that post-shingles patients, and other patients as clinically appropriate, can continue to have this treatment.