Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) announcement that it is funding nine new drug treatments and they will now be made available to patients.

The Sinn Féin TD said that there will be an audible sigh of relief from families and patients who had campaigned for the release of funds for the new medication.  The drugs include new medication for cancer, heart conditions, arthritis, depression and Crohn’s disease.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I want to welcome the announcement from the HSE that is will now finance nine new drugs which had been on hold because their ‘reimbursement application could not be funded from within the current HSE budgetary envelope’.  I also want to welcome that the funding disagreement between the HSE and the Department of Health on this issue appears to have been resolved.

“The new drugs are for the treatment of ovarian cancer, heart conditions, arthritis, depression and Crohn’s disease.

“It was particularly frustrating for patients and their loved ones knowing that these potentially new life changing and improving drugs were not available because of funding cuts. Patients were trapped in the middle while the row went on about who would provide the funding. The new drugs are said to cost around €117 million over next five years.

“Clearly lessons need to be learnt from this particular delay, with new protocols agreed on any new medications, many of which are cost effective and life changing.

“The HSE have said that they hope that some of the treatments will now be available to patients towards the end of September and that they  hope to make all the drugs available as soon as is feasibly possible.”