Louth TD calls for reversal of ‘callous’ withdrawal of pain patches
Louth TD Imelda Munster has called on the Taoiseach to reverse the decision to remove Versatis (Lidocaine) pain patches from patients using a medical card.
The patches allow relief from severe chronic pain and are extremely expensive.
Speaking about the issue, Deputy Munster said: “According to the Chairman of the National Association of General Practitioners the system introduced by the Government has seen 86% of GP applications for the drug on behalf of their patients turned down. These patches are a lifeline for patients who are in chronic pain to ensure some sort of quality of life. Many who cannot afford to buy the patches suffer daily and are confined to their homes as a result.
“One such patient in my own constituency, who is almost doubled over such is the severity of his pain, has said he is regularly housebound because he cannot pay for the patches and that he no longer has any quality of life.
“General Practitioners have stated that the Taoiseach’s claim that the ‘withdrawal was based on patient safety’ is utter nonsense and I have called on him to listen to the medical professionals and patients and reverse this callous cost cutting exercise. It is clear that this decision was made as a cost cutting exercise taking no account whatsoever of the effect this would have on the quality of life for people who suffer daily with chronic pain.”
Deputy Munster has also raised the issue with Health Minister Simon Harris as she hopes to get this cruel cost-cutting measure reversed.