A shortage of an epilepsy drug is causing “huge distress and worry for many people,” Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said.
Rivotril is a medication used to prevent and treat seizures, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, and the movement disorder known as akathisia.
Cheplapharm, the company responsible for supplying Rivotril 0.5mg tablets, notified the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) of a shortage that began on November 25, 2022, due to a manufacturing issue.
Cheplapharm recently confirmed that the Irish stock has been released from the Spanish manufacturer and estimated that Rivotril would be resupplied to patients in Ireland in mid-March.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said, however, that he has been contacted by a number of constituents who are very upset that their medication is still not available, having been advised that it would be back in stock last week.
“They were informed that the drug would be back in stock last week, but they are still waiting with no sign of this essential medication being provided.
“Some of these people are housebound as a result. One woman is relying on family members now to go and do her shopping and other daily tasks for her, for fear that she would have a seizure while out and about going about her day.
“This is completely unacceptable and causes enormous distress for these people and their families,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire said.
He said that people should not be waiting weeks to access the vital medication which he said is life-changing medication for a lot of people who are dependent on it for seizure control.
“I will be contacting the Health Products Regulatory Authority and Minister Donnelly raising my concerns and this issue with them and I hope to see a speedy resolution to this matter for these people and their families,” he said.