Unfortunately, medicine shortages are a feature of modern health systems worldwide, but Ireland has a multi-stakeholder system in place to prevent and manage shortages when they occur.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has worked with other stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry and the HSE, to develop an effective approach to the management of medicine shortages in Ireland. In 2018, the HPRA launched the “Medicine Shortages Framework”, which is built on a pragmatic and collaborative approach involving the wide range of stakeholders within the medicine supply chain. The HPRA coordinates all stakeholders to share information in order to prevent or mitigate the impact of medicine shortages when they occur.
The marketing authorisation holder for the specific product referred to by the Deputy has confirmed to the HPRA that there is no shortage and that there are sufficient supplies of this medicine for patients in Ireland. There was a recent technical difficulty at the wholesaler which may have resulted in a temporary delay in supplying stock to pharmacies; the wholesaler in question has indicated that this issue is now resolved.