Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, an individual or family only has to pay up to €144 each month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by that person or his or her family in that month. If you have a GP Visit Card or do not have a Medical Card you should apply for a Drugs Payment Scheme Card.
This scheme is aimed at those who don’t have a Medical Card and normally have to pay the full cost of their medication. It also applies to those who have a GP Visit Card. Anyone ordinarily resident in Ireland, and holding a PPSN can apply to join the scheme regardless of family, financial circumstances or nationality.
The definition of a family for this Scheme, is an adult, their spouse, and any children under 18 years. Dependents over 18 years and under 23 years who are in full time education may also be included. Everyone ordinarily resident in Ireland without a Medical Card should have a Drugs Payment Scheme Card.
Medical Cards allow people to access Family Doctor or GP services, community health services, dental services, hospital care and a range of other benefits free of charge. Medical card holders have to pay a charge of €2.50 per item dispensed by pharmacists. Most people who get a Medical Card do so because their income is below a certain level.
It is also possible to get a Medical Card if the costs of meeting your medical needs causes you financial hardship.
If you have certain long-term illnesses or disabilities, you may apply to join the Long Term Illness Scheme under which you will be supplied with a Long Term Illness book. This book allows you to get drugs, medicines, and medical/surgical appliances directly related to the treatment of your illness, free of charge. It does not depend on your income or other circumstances, and is separate from the Medical Card Scheme and the GP Visit Card Scheme.
If you have one of the medical conditions below, you should apply to join the Long Term Illness scheme to help cover the cost of your medication.
Members of other EU states are entitled to free prescription medicines (except for a government levy of €2.50 per item) on receipt of an Irish doctor’s medical card prescription in Ireland. For visitors from the UK, proof of residence in the UK is required. A EHIC card is required for all other EU citizens.
Some specialised medicines can be provided by pharmacies, on receipt of a hospital consultant’s prescription, either under the DPS or GMS scheme.