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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 376 - Medicinal products availability [19728/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 376 - Medicinal products availability [19728/15]. (19 May 2015)

376. Deputy Billy Kelleherasked the Minister for Health with regard to the provision of Suboxone, if he will provide where it will be made available, that is through the Health Service Executive, general practitioners, etc; if legislative changes are necessary; if so, if he will provide the up-to-date position on its introduction; the amount of money that is going to be set aside for its provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19728/15]


Minister of State to theDepartment of Health (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): An Expert Group, set up by the Department of Health in 2006, examined the regulatory framework required to facilitate the prescribing, dispensing and supply of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) and buprenorphine-only products as alternatives to methadone. In 2011, this Group concluded that methadone is the drug of first choice in the treatment of opioid dependency, but that Suboxone may be more appropriate for particular cohorts of clients. An Opioid Substitution Implementation Group was set up by the HSE to recommend the steps that need to be taken to ensure a safe service for the provision of Suboxone. The Group is expected to report back to the Minister for Health with recommendations shortly.


Changes to Regulations made under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 to 2015 may be required to allow for the wider availability of Suboxone for the treatment of opiate dependence. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 re-controlled substances which had been controlled by means of Government Order and also re-confirmed regulations made under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 as if they were an Act of the Oireachtas. A second Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill is currently being drafted to restore the Government's power to control new drugs and amend a number of other provisions under which regulations are made. It is intended that this second Bill will be enacted before the end of this year, following which it will be possible to amend existing Regulations.

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