Under the Drugs Payment Scheme you have to pay a maximum of €132 a month (from January 2012) for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by yourself and your family in that month. In order to qualify for this scheme, you must be ordinarily resident in Ireland.
The scheme covers the person who applied, his or her spouse/partner and children under 18 years or under 23 if in full-time education. A dependant with a physical or mental disability/illness living in the household who does not have a Medical Card and who is unable to fully maintain himself/herself, may be included in the family expenditure regardless of age.
When you register for the scheme, your Local Health Office will issue a plastic swipe card for each person named on the registration form. You should present this card whenever you are having prescriptions filled.