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        SUNSCREEN                                                                             Irish Skin Foundation (ISF)

                                                                                                  By DAVID McMAHON

        CAN NOW BE


        FOR RENAL


        PATIENTS                                             Sunscreen

             or the first time, the cost of
             certain sunscreen products is
             now being reimbursed, when
        Fprescribed to those who have
        had renal (kidney) transplants and to
        immunosuppressed patients taking a
        particular medicine.
           Following a kidney transplant,
        immunosuppressant medications are
        prescribed to reduce the body’s ability
        to reject a transplanted organ.
        However, these essential medicines  of sun protection factors. People who  the skin against cancer.
        also increase the skin’s susceptibility to  are immunocompromised are more  Sunscreen products are now
        harmful UV radiation from the sun,  likely to develop skin cancers. Sun  covered for patients with renal
        making immunosuppressed patients    protection factors, when used as part  transplants and who are
        more vulnerable to skin cancer.     of the overall strategy to reduce solar  immunosuppressed (i.e. those taking
           Last year, the ISF called on the HSE  radiation, are an important part of  azathioprine) under Discretionary
        to allow doctors to prescribe       empowering a person to look after   Hardship Arrangements for patients
        sunscreen for vulnerable patient    their own skin health. Prevention is  with GMS eligibility, and under the
        groups, like transplant patients, to  always better than cure.”         DPS scheme for other patients. Items
        allow them to offset the high cost of  The ISF’s David McMahon said that  that are covered are generally SPF 50+
        creams essential for protecting their  the move was a very positive sign that  products.
        skin.                               the HSE is willing to look at the     Items must be prescribed by a
           Consultant Dermatologist Dr      specific needs of particularly      consultant (i.e. written on a
        Patrick Ormond said, “I am delighted  vulnerable patient groups and to find  prescription for patients to allow the
        that immunocompromised patients     solutions where high out-of-pocket  pharmacy to apply for payment).
        can now access assistance in the use  cost present a barrier to protecting                    March 2017
                                            IKA S UPPOR T S PRING 2017                                         13
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