Tógfaigh mé Ceisteanna 207 agus 212 le chéile.
I am aware that the drug buprenorphine (trade name Subutex) is being proposed as an alternative to methadone in the treatment of opiate dependent addicts. The current position is that buprenorphine can be prescribed to opiate users by addiction service consultants in specialist drug treatment clinics, where the prescription and dispensing of buprenorphine is tightly controlled.
The Irish Medicines Board has recently amended the authorisation for Buprenorphine to allow it to be prescribed by General Practitioners who have specialist training in its use. My Department is considering the implications of this revised authorisation, especially in view of the diversion potential of Buprenorphine in its current form.