Drugs Payment Scheme: what it is
A FAMILY only has to pay a maximum of €120 a month for prescription medicines.
Under the Drugs Payment Scheme the Government refunds the rest of the cost above that amount.
Many pharmacists actually process the payment themselves, only charging the €120 and claiming the rest back from the local health office.
The scheme is used by those who do not have a full medical card.
Medical-card holders are entitled to prescription medicines free of charge, so they do not need to apply for this scheme.
The Drugs Payment Scheme effectively covers a family: the person who registers, his or her spouse or partner and children under 18 years, or under 23 if in full-time education.
When you register for the scheme, your local health office issues a plastic swipe card for each person named on the registration form.
The card is then presented whenever you are having prescriptions filled.
The family doesn't have to register with a particular pharmacy for the scheme, but it is more convenient to do so to avoid paying more than the maximum €120.
The scheme covers a total of 6,267 prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances.