Drugs Payment Scheme

The Drugs Payment Scheme allows individuals and families who do not hold medical cards to limit the amount they have to spend on prescribed drugs. Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, no individual or family will have to pay more than €85 (limit as of Sept 2006) in any calendar month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and appliances.

Family expenditure covers a nominated adult, their partner and children under 18 years. Dependants aged 1823 years who are in full-time education may also be included. A dependant with a physical or mental disability or illness who cannot look after themselves fully, who lives in the family home and who does not hold a current medical card, may also be included in the family expenditure under this scheme regardless of age.

All those who are ordinarily resident in Ireland are eligible to apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme as long as they do not hold a current medical card. You can use the drug payment scheme in conjunction with a Long Term Illness Book.

How to apply

Application forms for the Drugs Payment Scheme can be obtained from your local pharmacy or your local Health Office. Families should be registered by a nominated adult family member. The completed form should then be returned to your Local Health Office.

Once the registration form has been processed, each person named on the form will receive a plastic swipe card, which they must present when having prescriptions filled at a pharmacy. It is intended that pharmacists will be able to access a central database to confirm if the €85 limit has been reached by a family/individual in any calendar month.

When your Card expires, you must apply again to your Local Health Office to obtain a new card.

Reviewed: September 20, 2006