Families across the North County will benefit from a reduction in prescription charges in the New Year, local Fine Gael Senator James Reilly said.
“As a GP I was never in favour of prescription charges as they are an impediment to access of prescribed medications.
“I was forced to increase prescription charges during the financial emergency, when Ireland’s income was way less that what we were spending. I always said the charges should be removed when our finances were back in order. That day has arrived.
“I welcome the move by the Minister to reduce the charge this year, but let me be clear, I want them removed in total next year at budget time,” said Senator Reilly.
It was announced in Budget 2018 that the charge will reduce from €2.50 to €2 per item from January 1st, 2018 and there will be a reduction in the monthly cap from €25 to €20.
“I am delighted that families across the North County and all across Ireland will benefit from reduced prescription charges in the coming weeks. The new measure means all medical card holders will only pay €2 per item, with a maximum cost of €20 a month.
“This means local Medical Card holders under the age of 70 will save up to €60 in 2018 from the reduction in the prescription charge”.
And in another boost for families, more savings will come into force from January 1st on the Drug Payment Scheme (DPS).
“This year local families will also save up to €120 a year in medication costs with a reduction of €10 in the monthly threshold for Drug Payment Scheme.
“Budget 2018 provided for a reduction in the DPS monthly threshold from €144 to €134, with effect from January 1st.
The DPS is intended to protect people and families who don’t have a medical card against excessive health costs, through a monthly cap on approved medicine costs. It also applies to those who have a GP visit card.
“Reducing the cost of medicines for families is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and, building on the progress in 2017 where Fine Gael in government reduced the prescription charge for over 70’s, we are delighted to now be in a position to further reduce the cost of medicines from the 1st of January 2018.”