Prescription Charges in Ireland

In Budget 2020 it was announced that from July 2020, the prescription charges in Ireland would be changing.
This change was delayed for some reason – but was finally implemented on November 1st 2020.

There is a 50 cent reduction in prescription charges for all medical card holders, which will benefit over 1.58 million people with medical card eligibility.

  • For medical cardholders under 70 the charge will drop from €2 to €1.50 for each item.
  • For people aged over 70, the prescription charge will be reduced to €1.00 per item, from €1.50)
  • Eligible people under 70 will now only pay a maximum of €15 per month for prescribed medicines instead of €20.
  • Those over 70 will only pay a maximum of €10 per month for prescribed medicines. (reduced from €15)

Non-Medical card holders pay the full cost of prescriptions – but there is a scheme that caps expenditure at €124 per month per family. The Drugs Payment Scheme threshold is also cut by €10 to €114 per month from November 2020.


Drugs Payment Scheme


Also changed is the over 70s medical card income limits for qualification – which is increased to €550 per week for a single person (was €500 per week) and to €1050 for a couple (was €900 per week).


History of Prescription Charges in Ireland

Before 1 January 2018, the €2 per item charge applied for people over 70 ….but for those under the age of 70 the charge was €2.50 per item up to a maximum of €25 per month. In Budget 2018 the €2.50 charge was cut to €2

Prior to January 2013 Medical Card holders in Ireland didn’t have to pay anything for prescriptions.
From Jan 2013 the government introduced a charge of  €1.50 per item. (capped at €19.50 per month per family).

The government increased charges from €1.50 per item to €2.50 per item in Dec 2013.
They also increased the monthly cap on prescription charges for a family from  €19.50 to €25 (with medical card).

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