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Policy failures are compounding effects of medicines shortage – David Cullinane TD

13 January, 2023 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said that policy failures are contributing to the effects of the ongoing medicines shortage.

Teachta Cullinane was commenting on the ongoing shortage of medicines, which affected 224 products yesterday and 216 products today.

The TD for Waterford called on the Government to introduce serious shortage protocols for Pharmacist substitution of medicines and to the medicine licensing and pricing process to maximise the supply of generics and bio-similar medicines.

He added that, long-term, there needed to be a proactive and strategic approach to increasing domestic pharmaceutical production.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The shortage of medicines is driven by global shortfalls in production, but it is exacerbated by policy failures.

“The situation continues to worsen, with 216 medicines in short supply today and 224 yesterday.

“In the short term, the Government must legislate for serious shortage protocols. These would allow for community pharmacists to substitute out-of-stock medicines with appropriate alternatives. This would also relieve some pressure on general practice for alternative prescriptions.

“Government must proactively work to boost the domestic supply of generic and bio-similar medicines. In the short- and medium-term, they should ensure intensive engagement between the HSE, HPRA, HIQA, and the Department of Health to more rapidly license generics.

"This would also bring down the prices of single-supply medicines. This work should also identify domestic and international strategic gaps which could be filled by domestic suppliers.

“A proactive, strategic, and long-term government-led response is an opportunity to ensure that the state is better prepared for medicine shortages, achieve savings in the medicines budget, and increase investment in the sector.”

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