Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (134)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

134. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health his views on introducing a scheme to make epipens available in schools, workplaces and other public places similar to the provision of defibrillators; and if he will introduce a scheme to train volunteers as first responders. [3154/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In 2015 the then Minister for Health introduced the 'Emergency Medicines' legislation. An adrenaline auto-injector (Epipen) is a prescription-only medicine that ordinarily can only be supplied on foot of a prescription. There is nothing to prevent a person with a diagnosis of anaphylaxis who has been prescribed an Epipen from carrying their prescribed medication with then at all times. This is particularly important for persons at risk of an acute anaphylactic attack.

Medicines legislation, permits any person to administer any medicine to another person in accordance with the directions of a registered medical practitioner. Therefore, if a person has been prescribed a medicine, but is unable to administer it to themselves, such as in the case of an overdose, there is no legal impediment to another person administering that medicine to the patient. {Regulation 4A(1)(c) of the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 2003, as amended) (S.I. No. 540 of 2003)]

Notwithstanding these provisions, S. I. No.  449 of 2015 amended the Prescription Regulations to allow certain prescription-only medicines, including adrenaline for known or suspected anaphylaxis, to be administered by trained members of the public in emergency situations. In order for an organisation, which can include schools, workplaces and other public places, to avail of an emergency medicine without the need for a prescription, members of that organisation must complete an approved course of training regarding the administration of such medicines and the management of any adverse reaction. The Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) has established a framework for the education and training of persons to safely and competently administer this medicine to those urgently requiring care.