The Health Service Executive manages the ‘General Medical Services’ (GMS) scheme which helps to pay for your prescription medicines. There are several ways in which the Government in Ireland provides affordable medicines and makes them available.
The Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) allows individuals and families who do not hold medical cards to limit the amount they have to spend on prescribed drugs. Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, no individual or family has to pay more than €132 in any calendar month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and appliances.
Doctor Only cards is a means tested scheme and will enable people to obtain free GP care while continuing to pay for their medication. This scheme is in addition to the existing medical card scheme which gives free primary care including medicines to about 30% of the population and the Drugs Payment Scheme where Government funds medicine costing above €144 per month per individual or family. The latter scheme is not means tested.
The Over 70s scheme is means tested and anyone who is eligible and over the age of seventy, does not have to pay for health care costs.The Hi-Tech scheme was introduced to facilitate the supply of certain medicines e.g. those used in conjunction with chemotherapy, which had previously been supplied primarily in the hospital setting. Finally, theLong Term Illness (LTI) scheme has been set up to provide access to medicines for persons who suffer from one or more chronic illnesses.
Your pharmacist can advise you on your entitlement to benefits under the Medical Card, Drug Payment, Long Term Illness and other State Schemes.
The cost of drugs and medicines supplied by a pharmacist, on prescription from a medical practitioner, qualify for tax relief. Click hereto read a guide on claiming for health expenses. You can download a Med1 Form here. For further information see www.revenue.ie
The Irish Medicines Board
All medicines in Ireland are regulated by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB). The objective of the IMB is to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines available in Ireland and to participate in systems designed to do that throughout the European Union.
Before a medicinal product can be authorised for use, an application must be made to the Irish Medicines Board and this must contain all of the necessary data supporting its quality, safety and efficacy. Visitwww.imb.ie for further information.