I am conscious of the significant suffering caused to those affected by narcolepsy. Since 2012, the HSE, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and my Department have worked together to provide a wide range of services and supports for those affected by narcolepsy as a result of receiving the H1N1 vaccine, Pandemrix. The health supports include counselling services, physiotherapy and a discretionary medical card.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The HSE has advised that, as of 8 July 2021, a formal application for pricing and reimbursement with respect to Solriamfetol (Sunosi) has not been received. If the marketing authorisation holder chooses to submit a pricing/reimbursement application for this medicine, it will be processed by the HSE in line with the 2013 Act.
As a country, we invest heavily in medicines, to the tune of over €2 billion annually and continue to make new and innovative treatment available to patients. The additional funding of €50m provided for new medicines in Budget 2021 has enabled the HSE to approve 29 new drugs for reimbursement.
I am also pleased to advise that the drug Patisiran (Onpattro) to treat hATTR Amyloidosis, has also been approved for reimbursement upon commencement of a Managed Access Programme, currently under development by the HSE.