Written Answers. - Drugs Payment Scheme.

Liz McManus

Question:

355 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will ensure that the forms used under the drugs payment scheme will provide information on the cost of each drug, as requested by a person (details supplied) in a let ter to him dated 23 July 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7765/01]

The correspondence referred to by the Deputy concerned the cost of individual items of drugs-medicines being reflected on receipts issued by community pharmacies under the drugs payment scheme. On receipt of each original form from the community pharmacy, the total value of dispensed items is automatically calculated by the General Medical Services (Payments) Board. The gross cost of drugs-medicines dispensed to the named individual, or family in a calendar month is established and this value, less £42 already paid by the patient, is the amount paid by the board to the community pharmacist. The board's interest is in having data captured accurately so that payments and statistics reflect the true outcome of business arrangements between community pharmacies and their customers. This matter is, in the first instance, a matter between pharmacies and their system suppliers. However, my Department recognises the interest of the person concerned in having the cost of each of the drugs/medicine items being shown on the receipt and has arranged to have the matter brought to the attention of the relevant parties.