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Improvements needed in transparency and communication of drugs process – Report

By Reporter - 24th Feb 2023

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Improvements to transparency and communication with patients should be made to the HSE’s drug reimbursement process, a new report prepared by Mazars has found.

According to the Department of Health, the report found that the HSE process “is operating in line with the legislation and that it is delivering results in keeping with international norms”.

However, the report concluded that there is scope for improvements in a number of areas, including: The transparency of the process; communications with, and the availability of, information to patients; and tracking the progression of medicines through the process.

“I want to see improvements in the overall transparency of the process, and I have asked the HSE to bring forward proposals in that regard as a matter of urgency,” said the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. “Greater engagement with stakeholders, including patient groups, will ensure that patients are aware of the process and have sight of various steps and timelines.”

The Minister has asked the HSE to introduce an application tracker on the HSE’s website, detailing how applications progress through the process. He has also asked the HSE to introduce indicative timelines for a medicine to complete the application/approval process.  

An implementation plan is being published and an implementation working group is being established between the Department of Health and the HSE. This group will consider and progress the various recommendations contained in the Mazars Report.

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