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Home > 340. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health and Children if he and the Garda Síochána have identified the increasing problem of prescription drugs being sold illegally; and the measures he and the Garda Síochána are taking to address this problem. [12737/11]

[Oireachtas] 340. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health and Children if he and the Garda Síochána have identified the increasing problem of prescription drugs being sold illegally; and the measures he and the Garda Síochána are taking to address this problem. [12737/11]. (24 May 2011)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/05/24/00262...


340.  Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health and Children if he and the Garda Síochána have identified the increasing problem of prescription drugs being sold illegally; and the measures he and the Garda Síochána are taking to address this problem. [12737/11]  

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Róisín Shortall): In accordance with international conventions, medicinal products which are controlled drugs and which have the potential to be misused are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts and Regulations. The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988 as amended place additional controls on the prescribing, dispensing, supply and possession of those prescription medicines which are controlled drugs.

 

The problem of the misuse of prescription drugs has been recognised at national, European and international levels. Through the framework of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, my Department is working in collaboration with the relevant statutory agencies to monitor the availability of controlled drugs, including prescription medicines, through illicit supply channels.

 

I am informed that An Garda Síochána is aware of the practice of the misuse and abuse of prescribed drugs, most frequently in circumstances where illegal substances subject to the Misuse of Drugs Acts have become scarce due to law enforcement measures. The Misuse of Drugs legislation provides for prosecutions in circumstances where substances seized, including prescribed drugs, are controlled substances under the legislation.

 

Specifically in relation to benzodiazepines and other related medicines, my Department and the HSE are currently actively engaged in the development of policy and the consideration of measures to improve practices regarding the use of these medicines within the health system and are reviewing legislative measures on the control of these and related substances.

 

I can assure the Deputy that the enforcement of the law relating to the sale of drugs, including prescription drugs, continues to be a priority in the Government’s commitment to tackling the issue of drug misuse in this jurisdiction.

 

 
Written Answers – Crime Prevention
Vol. 733 No. 1
Tuesday, 24 May 2011

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