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HSE drugs group recommends intranasal naloxone be added to drugs scheme

The HSE drugs group has recommended that intranasal naloxone be included under the community drugs schemes for GPs, the Medical Independent has learned. The HSE’s executive management team (EMT) is considering this recommendation.

At the HSE drugs group meeting in June, it was “unanimously recommended that intranasal naloxone should be included under the community drugs schemes for GPs designated as level one and level two opioid substitution treatment prescribers to be able to prescribe this medicine for storage and administration in the home in the event of the accidental overdose of opioids”.

According to meeting minutes, the group recognised that drug-related mortality rates in Ireland are among the highest in the EU and welcomed the expansion of naloxone services in that context.

“The group were assured that HSE addiction services were supportive of this product being available under the scheme. The overall drug budget impact presented was considered to be relatively modest.”

Intranasal naloxone is currently available through the HSE naloxone demonstration project. Up until the end of July, the HSE provided 1,601 packs of Prenoxad (injectable naloxone) and 1,700 packs of Nyxoid (intranasal naloxone).

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