Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the announcement of a major new drugs access conference to take place in Dublin next month.
The Ireland South MEP said the Access to Medicines Ireland conference was coming at a time when the issue had never been more topical here.
“It is a shameful black mark against the whole of humanity that in this day and age, with the knowledge and resources we have, we are still seeing people have their access to vital medication restricted,” she said.
“The only prerequisite for access to medicine should be need and need alone. Sinn Féin has long argued for truly national health service in Ireland, free at the point of delivery from Derry to Kerry with treatment based on need alone. With a little ingenuity such a health service is possible and affordable; indeed the notion is only rubbished by those who can only see what is and not what should be.
“This is an issue that affects all of us but particularly our elderly community many of whom need regular access to various kinds of medication and are already struggling to make difficult financial decisions between the likes of heating or eating.
“This is not an issue that is coming, it is very much here. Already treatments for Hepatitis C and Cystic Fibrosis are subject to strict rationing in Ireland.
“I want to commend those behind this conference and urge anyone with any interest or influence in area of access to medicine to attend.”
Access to Medicines Ireland – Problems and Solutions will take place on Wednesday, 8th February from 2pm to 5pm in the Global Room, Watts Building, Trinity College Dublin.
Speakers include Ellen ‘t Hoen (International patent expert; co-founder of the Médecins Sans Frontières Access to Medicines movement) Hans Hogerzeil (Professor of Global Health, Groningen University; ex-WHO director of Essential Medicines; Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines) and Diarmaid McDonald (Advocacy Manager, UNITAID and STOPAIDS) and will be followed by a question and answer session with the speaker panel.