Press Release

Report of the Irish Medicines Board on the BTSB

The Irish Medicines Board has today, 8 April 1998, submitted its first Report to the Minister for Health and Children in relation to the Blood Transfusion Service Board. The Report was on foot of a recommendation of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the BTSB which called for the IMB to report annually to the Minister, informing him of the result of its inspections and investigations of the BTSB.

In publishing the Report, Mr Brian Cowen, TD, Minister for Health and Children, noted that the substantial re-organisation and development which the BTSB is currently undergoing has been acknowledged by the Irish Medicines Board. However, a number of operational deficiencies were identified by the IMB during its inspections and these either have been or are currently being addressed by the BTSB as a matter of priority. The IMB will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the corrective action taken by the BTSB to address the operational deficiencies identified, particularly in relation to the reconciliation of stock.

Substantial additional resources are being made available to the BTSB to facilitate:

  • significant capital investment in a new national headquarters and in the Cork centre;
  • a new Information Technology Department and a new IT system;
  • a vehicle and equipment replacement programme;
  • the recruitment of additional Medical Consultants;
  • new Quality Assurance and scientific and technical appointments;
  • the introduction of new testing procedures.

“My objective is to ensure that the BTSB is in a position to meet the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice as laid down by the IMB at the earliest possible date. My Department will be meeting with the IMB and with the BTSB to discuss the Report and to identify the specific measures required to meet Good Manufacturing Practice”, the Minister said.