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[Irish Medical Times] , Culliton, Gary Draft drugs SIs expected shortly. (03 Oct 2013)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/news/latest-news/2013/10/draft-d...

Draft misuse of drugs Statutory Instruments are to be finalised shortly. They will be published on the Department of Health’s website — as part of a written consultation process.

This will be followed by a three-month EU notification period required under the Technical Standards Directive, because of the implications of the proposed regulatory changes on trade in pharmaceutical products. Government approval will then be sought to amend the legislation. As a result of consultations with key stakeholders, draft Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations are currently being prepared to introduce stricter prescribing and dispensing controls on benzodiazepines.

The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) maintained by the Health Research Board (HRB) shows that benzodiazepines were implicated, either alone or with other drugs or substances in 310 deaths between 2008 and 2010, of which 103 occurred in 2008, 113 in 2009 and 94 in 2010.

Data relating to 2011 will be available later this year, the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, said in response to Dáil questioning by Independent Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan.

The HRB’s NDRDI data on 2011 deaths will not be ready until late 2013. While the NDRDI records all drugs or substances implicated in an individual’s death – including both over the counter and prescription medications – data is not available as to whether the prescription medication was prescribed to the deceased or if it was obtained by other means. In 2010, there were 323 poisoning deaths recorded, while analgesic (pain killers) alone (e.g., Paracetamol, Solpadeine, Tramadol and Tylex) including an analgesic containing an opiate compound accounted for 2 per cent (seven deaths) of all poisoning deaths.


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