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Monday 22 September 2014

Cut-price pharmacy set to expand as hundreds join €25 members' scheme

Published 17/01/2014 | 02:30

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Mary Keys in Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre.
Pic:Mark Condren
16.1.2014
Mary Keys in Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre. Photo: Mark Condren
Matt and Mary Maher in Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre.
Pic:Mark Condren
16.1.2014
Matt and Mary Maher in Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre. Photo: Mark Condren
Shane O'Sullivan from Cork and owner of Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre.
Pic:Mark Condren
16.1.2014
Shane O'Sullivan, owner of Healthwave pharmacy at Dundrum town centre. Photo: Mark Condren

A new pharmacy offering discount prices on generic drugs has promised to open stores in Cork and Galway after more than 300 people signed up to its scheme in one day.

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Hundreds phoned and visited Healthwave pharmacy in Dundrum in Dublin yesterday after news broke that it was selling prescription medication at Northern Ireland prices.

Shane O'Sullivan (27), who owns the pharmacy, says that people can sign up to a scheme called HealthPass for a yearly subscription of €25 and in return make savings of 50-80pc on their prescription medicines which are predominantly generic drugs.

Patricia Flannery travelled from Lucan in Dublin when she heard about the pharmacy to see what savings she could make on her €120 a month prescription medicine which she's had for 12 years.

She'll make savings of over 50pc, she said, adding: "I went up North last month and was flummoxed at the price difference and now I can get my medicine at the same price down here."

Matt and Mary Maher spend €144 a month jointly on their prescriptions with Mr Maher on his medication for 24 years.

"The prices in Ireland have been just crazy and we've resorted to going to Northern Ireland with our prescriptions where we get them for as little as €18," said Mr Maher.

In Healthwave they will get their medication at a "fraction of the usual Irish cost" and they will be cheaper than what they get them for in Northern Ireland.

Mary Keys has been travelling to Spain for her prescription medication up until now where she gets her monthly supply for €10 as opposed to €70 in Ireland. Ms Keys now needs another prescription of €140 a month and visited the Dundrum pharmacy to see what reduction she can get. "I'll make savings of more than 50pc here," said Ms Keys.

QUEUES

Kevin Hendrick works next door to the pharmacy and said that there has been non-stop queues in the store since it opened.

"We've seen a huge spike in our business because of the pharmacy -- there's been a big knock-on effect," said Mr Hendrick.

Mr O'Sullivan graduated with a degree in pharmacy from University College Cork in 2008 and believed there was room in the market for a low-cost pharmacy here.

"From talking to customers going up North I knew there was definitely a demand and it's just been mental since we opened," he said.

The pharmacist is now looking at expanding his business to Cork and Galway.

Irish Independent

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