Louth cllr welcomes passing of motion on Versatis pain relief patches
Louth councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has welcomed the passing of his motion about the restrictions placed on the use of Versatis pain relief to patients at the May council meeting.
Councillor Ó Murchú’s motion stated that: “Louth County Council calls on the Minister of Health, Deputy Simon Harris, to request the HSE to review the decision to restrict the use of Versatis pain relief patches to patients, in chronic pain, outside those experiencing post herpetic neuralgia; to revert to the pre-December status while this review is being undertaken.”
The motion was discussed by Louth members and passed. Cllr. Ó Murchú said he was pleased that councillors had supported the motion and appreciated the cross party support.
He said: “The HSE decision has caused physical pain and mental distress to thousands of low income citizens and their families. Their views were clear to be heard on the Joe Duffy show after the decision was made earlier this year.
“The HSE should have made an attempt to negotiate a better price with the manufacturers of Versatis before this decision was taken and there should have been a full and proper cost benefit analysis carried out before limiting access to the pain relief.
“The Minister has called into question the judgement of GPs and medical consultants and no indication was given to GPs on how to take patients off this treatment safely.
“The reality is the it is perfectly fine to prescribe Versatis for non-shingles related pain to those who can pay but it is deemed not suitable for those on low-incomes dependent on medical cards or the drugs payment scheme.
“The only solution is a patient-centred one and the HSE need to include Versatis in the Drug Payment and Medical Card schemes to enable those who live in the real world to avail of this vital medication. The HSE and Minister Harris need to look at the patient rather than the cost, they are playing with the quality of people’s lives here.”