Health | Addressing issues raised by the Irish Cancer Society and the HSE for rapid treatments for illnesses and the availability of new and orphan drugs
To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which it is intended to address issues raised by the Irish Cancer Society and the HSE in respect of the availability of rapid treatments for certain illnesses, the treatment of which cannot be postponed as well as ensuring the availability of new and orphan drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Under the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026, we are endeavouring to provide the best care to patients across the board, including in the provision of new drugs.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines. This falls under the community drugs schemes. It is in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
In 2021, 29 new medicines and 21 new uses of existing medicines and 2 expansions of reimbursement were approved at a year one cost of €34.39 million, with an additional cost of €477m over the first 5 years of those decisions.
In 2022, 30 new medicines and 30 new uses of existing medicines were approved at a year one cost of €15.5 million, with an additional cost of €178m over the first 5 years of those decisions.
This funding provided support for 23 new cancer drugs, and 30 new medicines for the treatment of rare diseases. This will ensure that patients have access to new and orphan drugs. Additionally in 2021 CAR T-cell therapy was introduced in Ireland for the first time, meaning patients no longer have to travel abroad.
I would strongly encourage anyone with signs or symptoms suggestive of cancer to contact their GP for assessment, where they can be referred to diagnosis and treatment, as appropriate.
Leave a Reply