Versatis Patch - Keeping you updated

March 8th, 2018

08/03/18 Appeals process in breach of Data Protection Act

Chronic Pain Ireland have lodged a complaint with Prof. Barry stating that the appeals process is forcing GPs to be in breach of the Data Protection Act. This is in line with the advice we have received. We have asked for an immediate review to ensure compliance. This may have implications for previous applications which were refused and will certainly impact on future applications. However it is possible that Prof. Barry as head of the HSE MM Programme may reject the complaint and that will start the a process of an appeal to the Data Protection Commissioner. Please note that if you do appeal your personal medical records are going to be shared with a third party who is not a member of the medical profession. 

We have also written again to the Minister for Health outlining a number of issues which we have asked him to raise with Prof. Barry and we have outlined our proposal in relation to the future prescribing of Versatis. We will keep you updated.

05/03/18 Public Meeting in Cork

Chronic Pain Ireland invited to speak at public meeting in CORK supporting the campaign to restore the Versatis Patch. CPI Chairperson John Lindsay, Jonathan O'Brien TD Junior Spokesperson on Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, Pat Buckley TD and Liadh Ní Riada MEP along with representatives from PatchusBackUp are in attendance. Both PatchusBackUp and Chronic Pain Ireland addressed all present.  During our presentation to the group, Chronic Pain Ireland explains our ongoing strategy and thanks all present for their ongoing committment and support of this issue.


Dr Camillus Power Consultant Pain Specialist and Director of Ulysses Programme, Tallaght University Hospital continues to speak out with Ivan Yates on The Hard Shoulder. Our sincere thanks to Dr Power for his support.

22/02/18 Reports of difficulty with applications

Some patients are reporting difficulty getting their GP to make the application online to appeal the decision to refuse reimbursement in relation to Versatis.  CPI contacted the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) for their opinion in relation to this matter. Their response is that the ICGP are supportive of the recommendations of Prof. Barry and that GP's do not have to carry out any work for which they are not paid.  It was suggested in a personal capacity (and not as  as a representative of the ICGP) that those having difficulty persuading their GP to make the appeal....... might offer to pay the GP for the work involved.  Chronic Pain Ireland holding a meeting for our members to discuss this and all issues surrounding the ongoing versatis case on Sunday 25th February in Dublin.

21/02/18 Dr Camillus Power states Taoiseach's views are beyond comprehension

Dr Camillus Power, Consultant Pain Specialist and Director of Ulysses Programme, Tallaght University Hospital spoke out on RTE Liveline today.  In response to the Taoiseach's Leo Varadkar latest Dail statement where he is quoted as stating "the decision to restrict the supply of the pain patches is right",  Dr Camillus Power, says the Taoiseach's views are "beyond his comprehension".  Listen here Further debate took place in the Seannad with Senator Rose Conway-Walsh reiterating the need for the Minister for Health to review the HSE decision on access to Versatis patches pain medication. CPI along with FibroIreland and Arthritis Ireland were in attendance.To read full debate see

15/02/18 Versatis

This morning Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) represented by John Lindsay (Chairperson), Deirdre Ryan (Governing Body) and Mary O'Caroll (CPI member) attended and spoke at a briefing session in Leinster House.  Mr Brian Lynch from Arthritis Ireland was also in attendance and also spoke.

CPI Chairperson briefed those present on what CPI has done to date on the issue around the withdrawal of reimbursement of the patch, our research and interaction with Prof. Michael Barry and the acceptance to allow appeals for those with persistent neuropathic pain. Chairperson John Lindsay also stated that we took great exception to the manner in which it was withdrawn and that patients should be left on the patch until the prescribing doctor deemed it clinically safe to do so. CPI also explained what off label prescribing meant.

Deirdre spoke about her experience of having fibromyalgia and the position patients are in relating to the patches. As fibromyalgia isn’t categorised under one specialty i.e. rheumatology and/or a pain specialty, patients are left with the uncertainty of who to contact or whether they are eligible to do so.  Deirdre displayed the guidelines given to GPs on recommendations of substitute treatments and how it focuses on fiscal benefits rather that the clinical evidence of their efficacy. Deirdre also mentioned while Prof. Barry has also suggested substituting the patches with other ‘off label’ medications such as Amitriptyline this evokes fear in patients of which medications that are currently being prescribed ‘off label’ could be withdrawn next.  

The manner in which the patches were withdrawn unjustly undermines the patient-doctor relationship and burdens the GP with the administration.

Mary O'Caroll spoke from the patient’s perspective and also as a user of the Versatis patch. Without the patch she told those present that she will be house bound.

A summary of the meeting will be sent to all members of both houses of the Oireachtas and next week a debate in the Seanad will take place and CPI have been invited to attend.  We will keep you updated.

14/02/18 Versatis Appeals Process Update

When appealing a GP/Consultant should include any additional information to support unmet clinical need for versatis based on failure of other treatment options. Appeals are on a case-by-case basis reviewing the information provided in the initial online application and the information in the appeal submitted to MMP. GP is notified of decision via letter. GP can appeal directly via or can write to Prof. Michael Barry, (Clinical Lead, MMP), Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health & Sciences, St James Hospital, Dublin 8.

13/02/18 Versatis Withdrawal and Appeals process for persistent neuropathic pain
Following a week of members and general public calls to LiveLine, CPI were invited to take part in Monday's RTE Claire Byrne Live show and members following the HSE's decision to withdraw versatis for people with a medical card or the Drug Payments Scheme and our members expained how the withdrawal of versatis had impacted them.  During the show Dr Michael Barry of the Medical Management Programme stated that GP's treating patients who have neuropathic pain should use the appeals process. 

Chronic Pain Ireland recommends that if you have retractable (i.e. persistent neuropathic pain) to appeal. If you have already appealed and have been refused reimbursement of #versatis you can get GP or Consultant to appeal against the decision. What is really import in the appeal process is that your GP / Consultant MUST state that all the recommended treatments have been tried and have failed in your case. It must be a good concise submission, clearly stating the above. Please let us know if you had appealed and were refused, but also keep in touch with whether you are making an appeal and indeed what happens after your appeal is submitted. Best of luck to all and our thanks again to all who have spoken out