1 / 8 Dublin: It was a good weekend for Irish health.
But as the flu season comes to an end, the country has seen its worst shortage in decades.
With flu season fast approaching, Irish Health Minister Simon Harris says the country will see a “considerable reduction” in its supply of prescription drugs in the coming months.
The government says it is working with pharmaceutical companies to secure more supplies, but it expects to be “quite limited” in the quantity of drugs available in pharmacies.
Dr Harris says a significant number of Irish pharmacies will be running out of drugs by mid-September, when the next flu season kicks off.
He says the government is working to find additional supplies.
“It’s going to be a very, very significant reduction in supply, particularly if we have to do it by the end of August,” he told RTÉ News.
“We will see very significant reductions in supply throughout the year.”
Health Minister Simon Hartley says the Government is making plans to reduce the availability of the drugs in Irish pharmacies, but is not expecting to see a shortage.
He said there will be “significant reductions” in prescription drugs.
“As we’ve said many times, we want to make sure that people have access to as much medication as they possibly can.
We want to reduce our dependence on prescription drugs.”
There will be an increased availability of generic medicines in pharmacies in the weeks ahead, and Dr Hartley said he hopes there will not be any shortages at all.
“At the moment, the only time that we see shortages in the pharmaceutical sector is when people are going to need to go out and buy a medication because it is not available,” he said.
“There will obviously be some reduction in availability of prescription medicines, but we do not anticipate that we’ll have any shortages in terms of the quantity.”‘
This is a really, really serious problem’Dr Hartley was speaking as he said that the Government was looking at measures to reduce prescription drug shortages.
The minister said there was a “significant amount of concern” about the issue and there had been an increase in calls for the supply of certain drugs to be cut.
He also said that Ireland is facing a “huge, huge” challenge to the availability and availability of vaccines and that there were “a lot of people who have died or have been seriously ill” from flu pandemics.
“This is an extremely serious problem,” he added.
“The availability of these drugs, the availability, the supply, the effectiveness of this medication, has to be taken into account, because this is a very serious problem.”
In March, the Irish Government announced plans to increase the supply in pharmacies to a maximum of 500 tablets and 500 mL of tablets and liquid, as well as 750 mL of capsules.
Dr Hartly said there had also been an increased call for the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry Association to come up with more effective ways of distributing the medication.
The Minister also said the Government would increase its support for companies to supply the medicines to pharmacies, adding that the government would also consider a supply management system.
He added that it was “a really, very, really difficult situation” and that the Irish Health Department was “absolutely committed” to dealing with the problem.
Dr John O’Sullivan, of the National Vaccine Partnership, said that there was concern that there may be “substantial shortages” of drugs, but he said it would be “too early to be concerned” about a shortage in the short-term.
“Certainly we’re expecting there will have been some decrease in the supply over the course of the last two weeks,” he explained.
“In terms of short- to medium-term availability, we are confident that we will see some of that.”