28.11.2012 Brainwave highlights risk associated with new health legislation

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Brainwave The Irish Epilepsy Association held an event in Leinster House last week, urging members of the Oireachtas to support their call to exclude epilepsy medications from the upcoming Health Bill 2012

The Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill is due to be enacted before the end of the year and allows for the substitution of patent drugs with a generic equivalent.

Brainwave have highlighted that epilepsy should be a special case for exemption as there are particular side effects associated with substitution of epilepsy drugs.

Consultant Neurologist Norman Delanty outlined that while the composition of generic substitutes was the same, the way they are absorbed in the body can differ with the risk of seizures. The cost differential associated with generic substitution in epilepsy is small and is outweighed by the risk to the patient and increased risk of hospitalisation and intervention.

Brainwave point out that internationally, anti epilepsy drugs are excluded from generic substitution. A report by the HSE & Department of Health and Children in (Moran Report) recommends the exclusion of AED's (anti epilepsy drugs) but the current Health Bill ignores this. 

Over 33 TD s attended the event which received coverage in the media, including the Irish Times Health Supplement 

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