The Irish Government’s failure to follow through on promises to provide State-funded access to the Pembro drug to cervical cancer patients is frightening, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

These patients – once they were assessed as suitable candidates – were assured that the drug would be made available to them a number of weeks ago, the independent TD for Roscommon-Galway added.

Having liaised with Labour health spokesperson, Deputy Alan Kelly, on the matter, Deputy Fitzmaurice has joined him in calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to make the drug available to eligible cervical cancer patients as soon as possible.

Commenting on the matter, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “It is totally unacceptable that little or no progress has been made on this matter.

“Time is of the essence for a lot of these women – and their families – and they must not be forced to endure any further unnecessary delays; clarity on the matter is required for everyone involved.

“It is deeply disappointing that promises were made to these patients prior to Christmas and no significant advancements have yet been made.

“As it stands, women caught up in the CervicalCheck scandal are already benefitting from access to the Pembro drug thanks to State funding. So it is totally unfair that other eligible patients are being delayed from receiving beneficial treatment as a result of red tape.

“The minister must stand up and show leadership when it comes to this matter and allocate the necessary funds to roll out the Pembro drug to the patients as quickly as possible,” he said.

Concluding, the independent TD wished to acknowledge the vast amount of campaigning carried out by Vicky Phelan, Tracey Brennan and Aine Morgan on the matter.

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