Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (677)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

677. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in County Meath is charged for medications despite being in receipt of a long-term illness card; if it is the case that these medications are covered by the long-term illness scheme; if he will acknowledge that this person is therefore disadvantaged by also having a medical card; if he will immediately review this anomaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31943/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Persons suffering from prescribed conditions, who are not already medical card holders, can get free drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of that condition under the Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme.

Medical card holders are required to pay prescription charges. Prescription charges are not payable in respect of items supplied under the LTI Scheme.

In the case of persons who have both the medical card and LTI, the HSE policy is that they should use their medical card to access medicines. The main reason for this is that the supply of medicines under the LTI costs the HSE considerably more than under the GMS Scheme. A retail mark-up of 20% is payable to pharmacists for items supplied under the LTI Scheme but there is no retail mark-up for items supplied under the GMS Scheme.

The decision by the previous Government not to extend prescription charges to the Long Term Illness Scheme has given rise to the anomaly identified by the Deputy. This matter is under review.