Drugs Payment Scheme Budget Changes

Under the Drugs Payment Scheme – a family unit only has to pay a maximum of €90 a month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by yourself and your family in that month. The Budget in October 2008 increased this amount to €100 euro a month from January 2009

Family expenditure covers the nominated adult, his or her spouse/partner and children under 18 years or under 23 if in full-time education. A dependant with a physical or mental disability/illness living in the household who does not have a Medical Card and who is unable to fully maintain himself/herself, may be included in the family expenditure regardless of age.

Medical Card holders are already entitled to approved prescribed drugs and medicines free of charge so are not eligible for this scheme.

If over 70’s lose their Medical Card in 2009 – at least there will be an upper limit on what they will have to pay towards medicines and equipment. There are many people who should know better who are scaring people by misleading them into thinking they will have to pay the full cost of all drugs and incontinence pads etc. They will only have to pay a maximum of just over 23 euro a week per family . For a couple – this is €11.50 a week maximum. Whilst this may be a lot for someone on an income of around €300 a week – it is a lot less worrying than having to pay for the full cost of medicines.