FOR ALL FAMILIES
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
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
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
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
MEDICINES COVERED BY THE DRUGS
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.