26th February to 14th March 2019

Posted on March, 15 - 2019

The debate around the reimbursement of Spinraza featured very prominently in the Oireachtas this week during debates and PQs. On Thursday it featured during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil and  Order of Business  in the Seanad. The Minister for Health was bombarded with PQs, with at least 15 being put down on Spinraza alone. VAT on food supplements was raised in the Dáil on Tuesday during Order of Business (VAT on food supplements). The omnibus legislation on Brexit was debated at second stage this week and contained frequent reference to medicines Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019: Second Stage (Resumed). Brexit also featured in a number of PQs Brexit, Brexit 2. Independent Deputy Clare Daly raised a couple of PQs about the Safety of SPC vaccine and the accuracy of HIQA data for same. She also asked a question about possible legal action on Pembro.

Due to the St Patrick’s Festival, the Dail sat for only 2 days this week and will not return until the 26th March. Accordingly,  this impacted on Oireachtas activity. The most interesting was a hearing of the Health Committee on Wednesday which discussed the National Cancer Strategy and particular the fact its implementation is lagging due to a lack of adequate resources. The transcript of proceeding are not yet available on the Oireachtas site. Minister of State Jim Daly took oral pqs for Minister for Health Simon Harris. There appears to have been only one pq of relevance on spinraza Oral PQs.

There were few written pqs this week also, other than one relating to shortages of Risperdal and 2 seeking an update on the Governments promised Biosimilars policy