Wednesday, 1 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
115. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Health and Children if there are plans to move heroin addicts from drug treatment into regular primary care facilities by training doctors to prescribe the anti-addiction drug buprenorphine; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35191/06]
Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): I am aware that the drug Buprenorphine is being proposed as an alternative to methadone in the treatment of opiate dependent addicts. The current position is that Buprenorphine can be prescribed to opiate users by addiction services consultants in specialists drug treatment clinics, where the prescription and dispensing of Buprenorphine is tightly controlled.
The Irish Medicines Board has amended the authorisation for Buprenorphine to allow it to be prescribed by General Practitioners who have specialist training in its use. My Department is considering the implications of this revised authorisation, especially in view of the diversion potential of Buprenorphine in its current form.
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