Medical Card holders in Ireland have to pay €1.50 per item on a prescription from Jan 2013 . (This is capped at €19.50 per month per family).
People without Medical cards pay the retail price of all prescription items. There is a Drugs Payment Scheme in place which caps the maximum spend on prescriptions by one family at €150 per month.
In Budget 2010, a charge of 50 cents was introduced from 1st October 2010 in respect of each prescription item dispensed to medical card holders. (Previously they were free)
The total charge per family per month was capped at €10 and the HSE will put in place a refund system in order to refund families who exceed the €10 monthly ceiling.
Minister Harney expects the new charges to raise approximately €2 million per month. There has not been too much protest against these charges – which will basically result in poorer , sick people contribuing €2 Million a month to the state from their low incomes .
An “expert group” recently commented that this charge is unlikely to raise enough revenue to justify the costs of administering the charge. The same group also said the move could lead to some patients not taking medicines they needed.
The New Prescription Charges will not apply to :
1. Children in the care of the HSE who have their own medical card. This includes children in residential care, foster care, foster care with relatives and other care placements:
2. The Long Term Illness Scheme;
3. The Drugs Payment Scheme;
4. Persons who receive services under the Health (Amendment) Act 1996;
5. Or to methadone supplied to patients participating in the Methadone Treatment Scheme.