Thursday, 8 February 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
91. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received requests from the Consumer Association in relation to the alternative health product sector; his response to those requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3408/01]
The Irish Medicines Board has also confirmed that it has not received any such requests but that it did receive a request from a journalist writing in the Consumer Choice Magazine, which I understand is the journal of the Consumer Association, for information in relation to the board's interim report on herbal medicines which was recently submitted to me. The questions raised by the journalist were answered by the board.
Because of recent concerns regarding the control of herbal medicinal products, and because it is not anticipated that the current discussions at EU level will produce a resolution to these difficulties in the near future, I asked departmental officials, together with the Irish Medicines Board, to investigate the possibility of an interim national system for the licensing of certain herbal or traditionally used medicinal products, thereby putting in place a licensing mechanism for such products.
The Irish Medicines Board has submitted an interim report in the matter and has set up an external committee of scientific experts to advise on scientific and policy issues relating to the regulation of such products. In addition the board is consulting widely with interested groups and individuals in the course of this work.
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