‘Viagra is on the medical card but Cariban cost me £3,000 during my pregnancy,’ says Cork woman

A Kinsale-based mother-of-two who vomited up to 50 times a day during her first pregnancy has welcomed the government’s decision to fund hyperemesis drug Cariban.

Tina Hemlock Coyne has been pregnant twice in the past six years. During her first pregnancy, no treatment could help her extreme hyperemesis, which caused her to vomit up to 50 times a day.

When she was pregnant for the second time, Cariban reduced her nausea to such an extent that she only vomited five or six times a day.

As Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed the government was set to cut the cost of the drug, Ms Hemlock-Coyne said every pregnant person should have the right to be able to afford the potentially life-saving drug.

She described her first pregnancy with daughter Lauren and the nausea that “stunned her for six years” from the minute she was pregnant. Ms Hemlock-Coyne was unable to eat or drink and was ‘mentally and physically exhausted’ from vomiting up to 50 times a day and through the night.

“It was like there was someone in the corner of the room with a remote control, and as soon as you start throwing up, and you’re going to take that second breath to throw up again, they hit the button” , she said.

You can’t even catch your breath fast enough between bouts of vomiting.

Her pregnancy was a constant battle to stay hydrated and nourished, coming in and out of the hospital “almost every two weeks” for a week or two at a time, to be hooked up to IVs.

By her second pregnancy with her daughter Ria, Cariban was available, a drug that drastically reduced her vomiting to just five or six times a day and kept her functioning.

However, the wonder drug was not cheap. Ms Hemlock Coyne paid €180 a month for Cariban, making a total of €3,000 during her pregnancy. Due to the high price, many pregnant women resort to buying online from abroad and from foreigners, the doctors said.

The high price is partly explained by the fact that the drug is classified as a dietary supplement, rather than a drug that would be more easily made available through the medical card or drug payment system.

Ms Hemlock-Coyne said she was overwhelmed to think of the drastic difference between her pregnancies with and without Cariban, and how other pregnant women cannot afford the luxury.

“There is still a huge divide between how men and women in this country are treated by the government. A man can walk into a pharmacy and get Viagra tablets from the medical card or the drug payment system,” she said.

So he can go out and he can get someone pregnant, but if that woman has hyperemesis in that pregnancy, she doesn’t have the same rights to walk into a pharmacy to get a medicine or a pill that will go there. to help survive. pregnancy and help her baby survive the pregnancy.

“Anyone who has hyperemesis deserves the right to be able to get it, whether they classify it as a medicine or a dietary supplement, whatever they decide, the one universal decision that should be made is that every woman deserves to be able to get it. ‘get .free, or at least on the drug regime,'” she added.

After years of campaigning by backbench politicians and Hyperemesis Ireland, Minister Donnelly has asked the HSE and the Women’s Health Task Force to quickly find a solution to the problem of unfavorable costs.

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