Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > Foods for Special Medical Purposes Available Under the Irish Health System: An Evaluation of Current Evidence and Practices

Introduction: In 2006 the Irish government spent €35m on Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) under the states General Medical Scheme (GMS), accounting for 3.72% of GMS spending. There is increasing concern, both in Ireland and internationally, of widespread inappropriate overprescribing of nutrition products resulting in unnecessary healthcare spending (NMIC, 2004; Loane et al, 2004, Okechukwu, 2008). Further to this, Ireland does not have a national Clinical Practice Guideline on the provision of nutrition support, and the process of product approval and listing for reimbursement under the GMS scheme has not been reviewed since the late 1990s. This paper takes a look at current Irish policy and practice relating to the provision of FSMP within primary care, reviews the evidence, compares the Irish situation to international guidelines and best practices, and suggests appropriate future steps for Irish policy makers.