Tuesday, 27 May 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
313. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the current status of kava kava as a medicine; if it has Irish Medicines Board recognition; if it is eligible under the GMS; and if his attention has been drawn to doctors prescribing same. [14341/03]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): A common list of reimbursable medicines was introduced for the general medical services scheme, GMS, and the drug payment scheme, DPS. This list ensures equity between the GMS and DPS in relation to the range of medicines paid for by the State under both schemes. The common list is subject to ongoing review and amendment on a monthly basis, as new products become available and deletions are notified.
For any item to be included in the common list, it must comply with a published list of criteria. These include authorisation status where appropriate, price and, in certain cases, the intended use of the product. In addition, the product should ordinarily be supplied to the public only by medical prescription and should not be advertised or promoted to the public. Kava kava is not an authorised medicine in this country and is at present the subject of a voluntary withdrawal by the industry at the request of the Irish Medicines Board due to concerns over liver damage.
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