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Medicinal Products

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 9 June 2020

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Ceisteanna (346, 347)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

346. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the consultation he or his officials have had with an organisation (details supplied) in relation to medicines supply in the context of Covid-19; the steps that were taken to ensure that vital medical supplies were protected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9861/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

347. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the steps he took during the response to Covid-19 to protect patients from medicines shortages; the engagement he has had on the matter with an organisation (details supplied) and other organisations; the engagement he has had at European level on the subject; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9862/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 347 together.

The Department of Health, the HSE and the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), together with the manufacturers of medicines, wholesalers and pharmacists, are continually working to review the supply of medicines to Ireland to anticipate and respond to, in so far as is possible, any potential vulnerabilities in medicines supply as a consequence of the outbreak of Covid-19. As part of this coordinated response, all stakeholders have committed to developing approaches and implementing contingencies to address any identified concerns.

Arising from this detailed and ongoing engagement, there is no evidence to suggest that Ireland is likely to face general medicines supply issues, now or in the near future, as a result of any potential delays in the supply chain caused by Covid-19 related issues. Supply chains remain strong, however, these remain under ongoing review and international authorities, including the European Medicines Agency, remain vigilant to any potential risk. The Department of Health and the HPRA are also working as part of this wider EU response to Covid-19.In addition to direct and specific engagement with the marketing authorisation holders of medicines the Department has hosted a number of multi-stakeholder conference calls with the pharmaceutical industry, including Medicines for Ireland, and other actors in the pharmaceutical supply chain, such as wholesalers and community pharmacists. The most recent of these events took place yesterday, 8th June.

I am grateful for the continuous engagement of all stakeholders in this process. I recognise and value the work which gone into contingency planning, and other measures to mitigate the risks to medicines supplies at this time. Through this continued engagement and open communication with all stakeholders, a unified approach has been taken to mitigate the risks to the supply of medicines to treat Covid-19 patients and to maintain continuity of treatment for all other patients.

Question No. 348 answered with Question No. 308.
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