Longford Councillor Joe Flaherty calls for review of Versatis restrictions

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Joe Flaherty

Joe Flaherty wants the Government to review its decision to restrict the use of a pain relief patch

Fianna Fáil Cllr Joe Flaherty has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to order the HSE to review its decision to restrict the use of a pain relief patch.

The HSE has confirmed that since last September it has made it more difficult for medical card holders or Drug Payments Scheme receipts to access Versatis patches. These patches are used to relieve pain and help improve the quality of life for people that use them.

Cllr Flaherty said; “I have been inundated with calls from Longford people in recent days that have had their access to the Versatis pain relieve patches withdrawn. “These people are suffering from significant pain and these patches allowed them to get on with their daily lives. The decision by the HSE to restrict people from accessing the patches is deeply disappointing.

“GP’s are now forced to jump through a number of additional administrative hoops before they can prescribe Versatis to a patient for more than three months. “This really is cruel when you consider people are being given pain relief for up to three months and then face having it withdrawn suddenly just as they are getting used to living a more active life.

“The annual cost of the drug to the HSE would be far outweighed by the cost of patients having to move to other medicines.

"I have raised this issue with Fianna Fáil’s Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher and he is set to raise the issue with Minister Harris in the Dáil. This decision needs to be reviewed without delay.

"The importance of Versatis in providing pain relief needs to be recognised by the Government,” concluded Cllr Flaherty.

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