Pain Relief Patches – Appeal Process

Are you impacted by the recent HSE decision to restrict access to pain patches?

Image result for versatis patchesIt was brought to our attention that a decision was taken by the HSE, last December, to restrict access to these patches that are used by people, including polio survivors, living with various types of chronic pain.

The medicated plasters have been removed from the Drug Payment Scheme meaning people must now pay full price for them. One box of patches costs €160, however, people in severe pain may have to use at least two boxes per month. Access for medical card patients also appears to be restricted since the beginning of 2018.

The way in which the patches were withdrawn has been widely criticised, as it is believed that patients should have been left on the patch until the prescribing doctor deemed it clinically safe to stop using it.

Following extensive media coverage Professor Michael Barry of the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics has since confirmed that patients with neuropathic (nerve) pain can send an appeal through their GP or consultant for the patches.

Polio Survivors Ireland would like to advise anyone suffering with persistent neuropathic pain, who has had access to their patches restricted, to contact their GP or consultant to appeal the decision.

It is really important, in the appeal process, that your GP or consultant be able to state that all recommended treatments have been tried and have failed in your case.

Your GP or consultant can appeal directly via mmp@hse.ie or can write to Prof. Michael Barry, (Clinical Lead, MMP), Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health & Sciences, St James Hospital, Dublin 8.

In addition, Chronic Pain Ireland advise you contact them at info@chronicpain.ie or 01 804 7567 if you require further information while making an appeal, or if you have recently been refused an appeal.