Written answers

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

9:00 pm

Photo of Catherine ByrneCatherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael)
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Question 559: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if he will outline any proposed changes to the prescription charge regime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9062/11]

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 597: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if he will make a statement on the recent announcements regarding prescription charges. [9422/11]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 559 and 597 together.

An analysis of the available research shows that prescription charges tend to reduce the use of medicines among certain patient groups. This can create negative health effects. Reducing the use of essential medicines may lead to increased hospitalisation, resulting in greater costs for the Exchequer in the long-term. It is my intention, subject to Government approval, to introduce legislation to abolish prescription charges for medical card holders.

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