Reilly denies lobby group influenced implant plan
HEALTH Minister James Reilly has denied that pressure from a lobby group for the multi- billion euro medical devices industry influenced his decision not to support a plan to impose strict new breast implant regulations.
Around 10pc of the 1,500 Irish women who received French-made PIP implants, containing industrial grade silicone, have suffered ruptures since undergoing breast augmentation procedures.
It emerged this week that French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand asked Dr Reilly and other European health ministers to co-sign a letter to EU Health Commissioner John Dalli last February seeking "strict supervision of medical devices", such as breast implants, and the introduction of inspection programmes.
Dr Reilly declined to sign the letter, but last night denied he was influenced by the Irish Medical Devices Association, which had described its contents as "extremely worrisome".
A spokesman for Dr Reilly said there was "no question of the medical devices industry's concerns playing a part".
He said there was "unease" with the French strategy and said that Dr Reilly wrote to Mr Dalli himself instead because he was keen to outline Ireland's own position on the issue.
In his letter Dr Reilly pledged support for an EU joint action plan, drafted by Mr Dalli, on strengthening regulations in the medical devices industry.