Under the Health Act, 1970, a health board may make arrangements for the supply without charge of drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances to persons suffering from a prescribed disease or disability of a permanent or long-term nature. Diabetes mellitus and diabetes inspidus are among the conditions prescribed under the Act. Drugs which are directly related to the treatment of these conditions are made available free of charge. The operation of the scheme is primarily a matter for the relevant health board and information on the operation of the scheme with regard to the provision of drugs for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia and hypertension arising from diabetes was sought from each health board. This information has now been received and is being reviewed by my Department. As soon as this review is completed I will communicate further with the Deputy in the matter.