HSE to consider allowing access to drug combatting symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum

Potentially good news for those suffering with severe pregnancy sickness this morning as the HSE begins to look into a ‘special arrangement’ where ‘Cariban’, the pregnancy sickness drug, may becomes available to women who need it.

The HSE is reported to have approached a medicine management group to ‘examine the appropriateness and feasibility of a patient specific arrangement’ that could make the drug available on the drugs payment scheme or medical card.

Pregnant Woman Holding Tummy

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which Kate Middleton famously suffered from, is a severe form of morning sickness that pregnant women can suffer from, which negatively impacts their quality of life. At the moment, Cariban which can help ease symptoms, can cost up to €3,000 to use throughout the course of the pregnancy.

The increased calls for the State to reimburse the cost of the drug have led to this examination of a solution to the problem, with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly saying reimbursement isn’t the solution, as Cariban is not licensed for use in Ireland.

Although available in maternity hospitals around the country, from Holles Street to the Rotunda, The Health Products Regulatory Authority has stated the drug cannot be reimbursed under the drugs payment scheme or medical card, due to the fact that it’s unlicensed.

Photo Of Person Holding Her Stomach

In order for the drug to becomes licensed, its manufacturers would have to apply for product authorisation Ireland, which the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is calling for the manufacturers to do. They’re also calling on the HSE to put exceptional arrangements in place for the drug to become available until it passes the product authorisation process, to relieve women suffering from the illness.

According to the The Journal, when asked by their reporters about Cariban, they responded that medicinal products that are not on the reimbursement list, there is an alternative way to access a reimbursement scheme, through the Discretionary Hardship Arrangements, for  exceptional cases only.

‘However, Cariban is considered to be a food supplement rather than a medicinal product in Ireland. Therefore it cannot be considered for reimbursement as an Exempt Medicinal Product under the GMS and Community Drug Schemes, or reimbursement under Discretionary Hardship Arrangements,’ The HSE said, in its statement, but that that it had approached the Medicines Management Programme (MMP) to examine the appropriateness and feasibility of a patient specific arrangement” for the drug Cariban.