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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 776 - Drug treatment programmes places [41990/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 776 - Drug treatment programmes places [41990/14]. (04 Nov 2014)

External website: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


776. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the total number of people receiving methadone broken down by Health Service Executive areas; the number of doctors prescribing methadone broken down by HSE areas; the cost of methadone to include prescription and pharmacy costs; the total number of pharmacies audited for methadone during 2012-2013; the results of these audits; the total number of doctors dedicated to methadone care; and the number of clients in opioid substitution treatment in 2011, 2012 and 2013 broken down between those using methadone and those using buprenorphine. [41990/14] 

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The information requested by the Deputy in relation to cost and provision of methadone treatment services is not readily available to my Department. I have asked the Health Service Executive to compile the information requested and to reply to him directly. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988 (S.I. No 328 of 1988) requires pharmacies to maintain a controlled drugs (CD) Register in respect of all drugs listed in Schedule 2, including methadone. All entries must be recorded in a chronological sequence and in a manner which shows a running balance.

Inspections are carried out by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland under Section 67 of the Pharmacy Act 2007 to review compliance with the Act, regulations made thereunder and medicines legislation. The sale and supply of all Schedule 2 controlled drugs and the manner in which the CD Register is maintained are checked as part of these inspections.

As part of the registration process for retail pharmacy businesses, pharmacy owners and Superintendent Pharmacists are required to notify the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland if the pharmacy concerned is engaged in the sale or supply of methadone.

As at the 30 November 2012, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland records indicate that 751 retail pharmacy businesses were engaged in the sale and supply of methadone. As at 7 November 2013, records indicate that 753 pharmacies were engaged in the sale and supply of methadone.

In 2012, 75 pharmacy systems inspections were carried out by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, of which 59 were recorded in their inspection database. The results show that four pharmacies failed to record or properly record in the CD Register the running balance in respect of one or more Schedule 2 controlled drugs. In eight cases the physical inventory did not agree with the balance specified in the Registers. The data obtained during the remaining inspections in 2012 was not recorded on a computer database, and accordingly detailed information regarding regulatory compliance with the requirement to maintain the CD Register is not readily available for the remaining pharmacies.

At the 31 December 2013, 387 systems inspections were recorded in the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland inspection database. These show that 39 pharmacies failed to record or properly record in the CD Register the running balance in respect of one or more Schedule 2 controlled drugs. In 105 cases the physical inventory did not agree with the balance specified in the register.

These figures relate to breaches of all schedule 2 controlled drugs legislation. They do not relate exclusively to methadone.

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