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Pharmacists can charge different mark-ups on products, so don’t assume your medicine will cost the same everywhere (stock photo)

Pharmacists can charge different mark-ups on products, so don’t assume your medicine will cost the same everywhere (stock photo)

Pharmacists can charge different mark-ups on products, so don’t assume your medicine will cost the same everywhere (stock photo)

1: If you buy in bulk, you can save on the dispensing fee charged by pharmacists. This is charged each time a regular prescription is filled, so if you buy for six months instead of month by month, you will save.

2: Shop around. Pharmacists can charge different mark-ups on products, so don't assume your medicine will cost the same everywhere. People are often very reluctant to question the price of medicines, but it's a product like any other so don't be afraid to ask or go elsewhere.

3: Buy abroad. If you are on holidays in France or Spain, bring your prescription and have it filled there. It can cost much less.

4: Join a membership scheme with a pharmacy that passes on discounts:

:: Healthwave charges €25 per family (two adults and two children under 18) to qualify for reductions in prices of regular medications. Members also get 10pc off non-prescription medicines in their Dundrum, Dublin, store and they deliver up to six times a year across Ireland (€5 per delivery thereafter). They say patients can expect to save between €200 and €500, depending on their needs.

:: Limitless Health in Limerick has three pharmacies and membership costs €20 (single), €35 (double) and €45 (family) to avail of group discounts on prescription medicines. It claims savings of up to 60pc can be made.

:: McCabe's Pharmacy chain offers free home delivery on all prescriptions of more than €38 a month.

Irish Independent