Access to Specialist Drugs – Share your Opinion!

NIRDP are glad to share information about a series of DHSSPS consultation events. Access to specialist drugs is vital. What do you think of the recommendations below? Can you attend a meeting and get your voice heard?

 

Announcement of Public meetings for Individual Funding Request Evaluation

Health Minister Jim Wells commissioned an evaluation of the Individual Funding Request (IFR) process.

Minister Wells said: “Whether you are a patient, a carer, a member of Health and Social Care staff or just interested in our Health Services then this is an opportunity to have your opinions considered.”

The evaluation was in response to concerns that the process was not providing access to specialist drugs that are not routinely available in circumstances where there is an agreed clinical need.

The evaluation is complete and five recommendations have been published which aim to strengthen the process and improve access to specialist drugs not routinely available.

The recommendations are as follows:

· That the existing exceptionality criteria should be amended to remove the reference to 95%.
· That the establishment of regional scrutiny committees should be considered to ensure all IFR applications are subject to regionally consistent clinical input and peer review.
· That the existing IFR guidance should be revised to include greater transparency and to enhance patient involvement.
· That the Department should establish a Specialist Medicines Fund to meet the costs of administering and maintaining increased access to specialist drugs.
· In order to resource the new fund, the HSC should re-introduce charging for prescriptions.

The Minister invited everyone with an interest to attend their local meeting: “Public meetings have been organised to provide an opportunity for public discussion of the proposed changes. I would encourage anyone interested in the evaluation and its purpose to come along and have an opportunity to add your views and comments into the process.”

The Public Meetings will take place from 7- 8.30 pm at a number of venues across Northern Ireland as listed below:

· 24 March 2015 Lecture Room 1, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Glenshane Road, Londonderry BT47 6SB

· 31 March 2015 Lakeview 2, Craigavon Civic Centre, Lakeview Road, Craigavon BT64 1AL

· 13 April 2015 The Chestnut Suite, Lagan Valley Island Civic Centre, Lisburn BT27 4RL

· 21 April 2015 Antrim Civic Centre, 50 Stiles Way, Antrim BT41 2UB

· 28 April 2015 Belfast City Hospital, 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AB

Notes:

1.Whilst registration is not compulsory, to assist with catering arrangements it would be helpful if you could register your intention to attend by emailing us at IFRPC@dhsspsni.gov.uk

or post to:
Secondary Care Directorate
DHSSPSNI
Castle Building
Belfast
BT4 3SQ

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