Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 660 - Prescriptions data [Pregabalin] [22587/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 660 - Prescriptions data [Pregabalin] [22587/16]. (19 Jul 2016)

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660. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if there has been a noticeable increase in the prescribing of the drug Lyrica by doctors to patients; if he is aware of the dramatic increase in the misuse of this drug and the effect it has on users; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22587/16]


Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Dispensing data from the Primary Care Reimbursement Service indicates that there has been an increase in the prescribing of the drug Pregabalin (brand names include Lyrica, Brieka and Pregabalin).


Pregabalin was originally developed and authorised as a treatment for epilepsy. However, further research has shown that it can also be beneficial in treating other conditions. Many pregabalin products are now authorised for use in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder and neuropathic pain. The greater number of authorised indications may also be a contributory factor to the increase in the number of Pregabalin items dispensed.


In June of this year the Early Warning Emerging Trends Subcommittee (EWET) of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, with the agreement of my Department, wrote to Health Care Professionals highlighting the need for vigilance when prescribing and dispensing Pregabalin, as the drug presents a risk of addiction and a potential for illegal diversion and medicine misuse. Prescribers were advised to always undertake a risk benefit assessment prior to prescribing either of these medicines for patients under their care.


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