Drugs Payment Scheme


Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, you and your family only have to pay a maximum of €80 each month for approved prescribed drugs and medicines, and certain appliances.

You can apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme online.

Who can apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme?

You must be living in Ireland and intend to live here for a minimum of one year (ordinarily resident).

If you have a medical card you should have reduced prescription charges and so you are not eligible for the Drug Payment Scheme.

The scheme is based on the monthly cost of prescription drugs, medicines and certain appliances for you and:

  • Your spouse or partner
  • Your children if they are aged under 18 (or under 23 if in full-time education)
  • A family member with a physical or intellectual disability or mental illness who cannot maintain themselves fully. You need to include a medical report for the family member who cannot maintain themselves.

How the Drugs Payment Scheme works

After you register for the scheme, you will get a plastic swipe card for each person named on the registration form. You should show this card whenever you collect your medication or appliances from the pharmacy.

The HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service provides a list of medicines or aids provided under the Drugs Payment Scheme. Appliances covered include positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and rental costs for oxygen.

If a reference price has been set for the drugs you are prescribed, the HSE uses this price to calculate your monthly drugs costs.

Using the card

You should use the same pharmacy in a month to avoid paying more than the maximum €80. You do not have to register with a pharmacy for the scheme.

Adding a dependant to your Drugs Payment Scheme card

To add a new baby or a dependant (including your spouse) onto your Drugs Payment Scheme card, email nmcu.cod@hse.ie or call 0818 224 478.

Claiming a refund for amounts over the threshold

If you use two or more pharmacies in one month you may spend over the maximum threshold of €80. If this happens you can then apply for a refund of the amount you spent above the €80 threshold.

To apply for a refund, print the refund claim form, or get one from your Local Health Office, or call 0818 22 44 78. Post the completed claim form to the address given on the form. You can check the status of your application for a refund at drugspayment.ie.

Expired Drugs Payment Scheme Cards

Your Drugs Payment Scheme Card lasts only for a limited time.The expiry date will be printed on your card. You can also check on the HSE website if your card is still valid.

When your card expires, you will need to need to apply again (see below).

Lost or stolen Drugs Payment Scheme Cards

If your Drugs Payment Scheme Card is lost, stolen or damaged, you should report it using the contact details below.

How to apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme

Apply online

You can apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme online at mydps.ie.

Apply by post

To apply by post, you can get a form in one of the following ways:

Finally, post your completed form to the address provided below.

Information and proof you need to have before you apply

To fill out your Drugs Payment Scheme Application Form (pdf), you need the following:

  • The PPS numbers for you and your spouse or partner and eligible children
  • The full name, address, gender, date of birth and contact details of you and relevant family members
  • Proof you are ordinarily resident in Ireland such as a current electricity bill
  • Proof your child is in full-time education if they are aged 18-23. Your child's school or university must fill in this section and provide a stamp.

Further information

Previous Drugs Payment Scheme thresholds
Dates when previous threshold applied Threshold limit
Before 1 January 2018 €144
1 January 2018 to 1 April 2019 €134
1 April 2019 to 1 November 2020 €124
1 November 2020 to 1 January 2022 €114
1 January 2022 to 1 March 2022 €100

Since 1 March 2022 the Drugs Payment Scheme threshold has been €80.

Drugs Payment Scheme Client Registration Unit

PO Box 12966
Dublin 11

Locall: 0818 224 478
Page edited: 30 May 2023