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Minister White points to prescription fee ‘anomaly’

29 Aug 2013

Minister Alex White

By Gary Culliton.

An anomaly has arisen in regard to prescription charges for diabetic medicine, it has emerged. The decision not to extend prescription charges to the Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme has given rise to the anomaly. This matter is under review, Minister of State Alex White said in response to Dáil questioning by Fine Gael Deputy Jim Daly.

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 per cent 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, Minister White said.

Meanwhile, it is expected to take approximately three years to fully roll-out the National Integrated Care Diabetes Programme, Minister White said. Guidelines are being developed for the following priority programmes relevant to primary care: Stroke; Heart Failure; Asthma; Diabetes; and COPD. The National Integrated Care Diabetes Programme is being rolled-out on a phased basis, including National Retinopathy Screening, a foot care screening and treatment service to prevent diabetic foot ulceration and lower limb amputation, an Integrated Care Programme for all patients with diabetes and a National Diabetes Register. A National Model of Care for children and young adults with type 1 diabetes is to be introduced and implementation is planned of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy for children under five years old with type 1 diabetes.

29 August 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times