Prescription Schemes Explained

Prescription Schemes Explained

Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, an individual or family in Ireland should not pay more than €144 each month for approved prescribed drugs for use by that person or his or her family in that month. You must be ordinarily resident in Ireland and hold a PPSN. There is no means test for the Drugs Payment Scheme.

Download DPS application form.

Medical Card
Medical Cards allow people to access Family Doctor or GP services, community health services, dental services, prescription medicine, hospital care and a range of other benefits free of charge or at a lower cost than normal.

Most people who get a Medical Card do so because their income is below a certain level.

From December 1st 2013, prescription charges for Medical Card holders are now €2.50 per item – capped at a maximum of €25.00 per month per family.

Download Medical Card application form.

GP Visit cards
GP Visit Cards can allow individuals and families in Ireland to visit their family doctor for free. Only the cost of visits to your family doctor is free; you must pay for prescribed drugs, medicines and other health services similar to others who don’t have a Medical Card.

If you are granted a GP Visit Card you should also apply for a Drugs Payment Scheme Card if you don’t already have one.

Download GP Visit Card application form.

Long Term Illness Scheme (LTI)
If you have certain long-term illnesses or disabilities, you may apply to join the Long Term Illness Scheme and you will be supplied with a Long Term Illness book. This book allows you to get drugs, medicines, and medical and surgical appliances directly related to the treatment of your illness, free of charge. It does not depend on your income or other circumstances and is separate from the Medical Card Scheme and the GP Visit Card Scheme.

LTI scheme covers the following illnesses:

  • Acute Leukaemia
  • Mental handicap
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Mental Illness (in a person under 16)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Diabetes Insipidus
  • Muscular Dystrophies
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Parkinsonism
  • Epilepsy
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Haemophilia
  • Spina Bifida
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide
  • More information on the LTI Scheme here.

European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC allows the holder to access health care services when traveling to other EU or EEA countries. Anyone who is living in Ireland or intends to live here for a year can apply for an EHIC.

Download EHIC Application form.

Prescription Levy
From 1st December 2013, Pharmacists are obliged, by law, to collect a €2.50 levy on every item dispensed on medical card prescriptions. If you or your family spend more than €25 per month on the levy, the amount exceeding €25 can be claimed back from the HSE. If you require further advice, please ask our Pharmacist.

Further information for all of these entitlements is available on the HSE website.

European Health Insurance Card
Generic Medicines are safe copies of well-known medicines and usually cost less. The generic medicine may look different and there will be a different name on the label. However, it will contain the same active ingredient as the original medicine, is just as safe and just as effective. We can discuss your requirements in store and guide you with regard to switching from branded products to generic medicines and help you to save money. Contact us today. If you would like more information on generic medicines and reference pricing please download this HSE Information Leaflet