The HSE’s decision to restrict access to Versatis pain relief patches must be reviewed, especially as it is causing “suffering and anxiety” to the 25,000 patients directly affected by the move.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway City East councillor Mairéad Farrell who is calling for access to the Versatis patches to be reinstated until such time as the “concerns regarding its withdrawal” are addressed. She has submitted a motion to Galway City Council calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to request the HSE to carry out such a review.
“The decision to restrict access to Versatis pain relief patches has undermined the relationship between patients, consultants, and GPs,” she said. “The HSE issued no guidance to GPs in relation to helping patients off Versatis or identifying alternative effective pain treatment. Cllr Farrell said she understands the process of applying for continued access to the drug is “taking up to an hour and a half of already overburdened GPs time with no guarantee of a successful appeal”She is now calling on her council colleagues to support the motion which she has placed on the city council agenda. “Patients and doctors are urgently seeking clarification,” she said, “but the longer they are waiting, the more distress and discomfort is caused to them.”