Catherine’s case reaches Dail chamber


The issue of the recent HSE decision to restrict access to Versatis pain relief patches was raised last week in Dail Eireann, where Deputy Seán Sherlock cited the case of Mallow woman Catherine O’Carroll who has gone through the appeals process in an attempt to be included in the scheme.
Speaking in the chamber, the deputy said, “As we speak, [Catherine] is in excruciating pain, such that she has said, ‘It’s got to the stage where I’ve asked the doctor is it possible to cut off my nerve endings, because, even though I’d end up paralysed, at least I wouldn’t be in pain.’ That is a real person. We need to have the minister before the House, because there are further questions to be answered on behalf of people such as Catherine Carroll. She is not an outlier or exception, rather she is within the range of patients who are suffering.”
In reply, Minister Simon Harris said: “This is a clinical decision. It has been made by clinicians in the medicines management programme of the HSE. I would like to make it clear that there is a process for GPs to appeal. This is about the appropriate use of a medication which, in the view of the doctors and clinicians who advise me, can cause adverse effects if inappropriately used. I want to see compassion and common sense prevail.”