Pharmacists are calling on the Government to exempt all vulnerable patients from the current medical charge levy.
Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) president Kathy Maher, has said some patients are not collecting their drugs, because they can’t afford the fee.
“Look at people who are homeless, palliative care patients and patients who have their medications changed on a weekly or daily basis.”
At the moment, even if you have a medical card you must pay €2.50, per prescription item, per month.
The issue is to be discussed at the Irish Pharmacy Conference which starts in Dublin later today.
The conference will be addressed on Saturday morning by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, T.D.
“(The Government needs) to look at phasing out the prescription levy over a three year period and ultimately getting rid of it,” Maher said.
The conference will also hear a call for Government to recognise pharmacy as a crucial element of primary care, and to allocate the necessary resources to developing pharmacy services in order to alleviate pressures caused by the persistent GP manpower crisis and ensure easy access for patients and the public to safe, convenient and cost-effective healthcare.