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IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL FAMILIES

DRUGS PAYMENT SCHEME

The Drugs Payment Scheme came into operation on 1st July 1999.

This new scheme, which replaces the Drugs Refund Scheme and the Drugs Cost Subsidisation Scheme, merges the best elements of both schemes.

Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, individuals or families will only have to pay the first €85 of the cost of their prescribed drugs and medicines in any month. When an individual or family has spent a total of €85, any further prescribed drugs will be made available from their community pharmacy without charge.

A computer system for the scheme will enable individuals or members of the same family to use different pharmacies within the same month. However, pending the full introduction of necessary swipe card technology in pharmacies individuals or families should use the same pharmacy in a particular month in order to benefit under the scheme.

In emergency situations where it is necessary to use a different pharmacy in the same month, the individual or family will have to pay up to €85 in the second pharmacy. If more than €85 has been paid out in total in the month, all receipts should be submitted to the local health board at the end of the month. The health board will make the appropriate reimbursement.

It is important to retain all receipts from all pharmacies used in the month for submission to the health board, so that the health board can make the necessary calculations, and reimburse expenditure over €85.

REGISTRATION

Registration forms have been issued to households who are regular users of the existing schemes and most of these have been returned. These families and individuals will receive their registration cards shortly.

All individuals and families in the State should register for this new scheme. In particular, families or individuals who used the existing schemes on a regular basis should register now for the new scheme in order to benefit immediately under the scheme. RSI (PPSN) numbers for all family members are required for the proper completion of the registration form. This information is available from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.

Registration forms are available from pharmacies, GPs surgeries, or your local health board office and these should be completed: and returned to your local health board office as soon as possible. There will also be a facility for on-the-spot registration for the scheme in community pharmacies, in situations where the individual or family who has not registered incurs expenditure in excess of €85 and can provide the pharmacist with all the necessary details, including RSI (PPSN) number(s). In such cases, patients will only be charged €85. Again, a completed registration form should be returned immediately to your local health board office.

TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Existing Drug Cost Subsidisation Scheme (DCSS) card holders who have not registered under the new scheme will be able to get their medicines using their DCSS cards. However, they should register immediately for the new scheme in order that they and other members of their family can aggregate their total expenditure on medicines.

MEDICINES COVERED BY THE DRUGS PAYMENT SCHEME

A comprehensive range of the most modern therapies required to treat all conditions will be covered by the new scheme. Other essential non-drug items such as incontinence wear and dressings will also be available under the scheme. However, some medicines which were reimbursable under the existing schemes will no longer be covered by the Drugs Payment Scheme. These include a range of over-the-counter preparations that do not need a prescription from a doctor and are available in many instances in supermarkets and other retail outlets.

Any queries regarding the scheme should be addressed to your local health board.



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Duffy's Pharmacy, Tesco Shopping Centre, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
Tel. + 353 65 6828833 Fax: + 353 65 6829700
| Company Registered Number: 156680