If you have a medical card, there is a charge for prescribed medicines and other items that you get on prescription from pharmacies. The prescription charge is €2.50 for each item that is dispensed to you under the medical card scheme, up to a maximum of €25 per month per person or family.
From 1 March 2017, the prescription charge for medical card holders over the age of 70 will be €2 per item and the monthly maximum will be €20.
Once your pharmacy can identify all of your family members then you should not pay more than €25 per month. A family is defined as you, your spouse or partner, any children under 16 years of age and any children between 16 and 21 years of age who are in full time education.
You can set your family up as a family group on medicalcard.ie and print off a family certificate to give to your pharmacist. This will show all of the members of your family so that the pharmacy will not collect charges above the monthly limit.
If you do not have access to the internet you can get assistance from your Local Health Office or call 1890 252 919 and they will take the details and send you the certificate. Your local pharmacist may also be able to help you. You will need to have the medical card number for each member of your family.
The prescription charges are eligible for tax relief for medical expenses.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) issues refunds automatically every 6 months, based on the information received from your pharmacy. Refunds are issued for amounts over €10. Refunds under €10 are carried over to the next refund payment date.
You can avoid the need for a refund if you and your family visit the same pharmacy and your pharmacist can identify all of your family members.
If you have a question about refunds you can contact 1890 252 919.
Certain people and certain products are not liable for the prescription charge:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.