It’s not so simple, Simon

The HSE’s refusal to fund the free delivery of therapeutic drug Respreeza to Irish alpha-1 sufferers is more complex a story than is being presented, writes Ellie O’Byrne.

The villains of the piece are Simon Harris (Ireland’s Health Minister) and the HSE (the Irish public health service). A small group of sufferers of a protein deficiency, Alpha-1 antitrypsin (or alpha-1), who live with terrible lung-related symptoms and a high risk of developing further illnesses like emphysema, were given a very expensive drug free of charge for years. Now the drug company has discontinued the free access, and the HSE won’t pay for their treatment.

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