Prescription charges for medical card holders

If you have a medical card, you can get prescription medicines free of charge.

For persons under the age of 70 years there is a prescription charge of €1.50 for each item, up to a maximum of €15 per month, for each person or family.

For persons aged over 70 years the prescription charge is €1 for each item, up to a maximum of €10 per month, for each person or family.

We give refunds every 6 months to those who have paid over the monthly limit.

Family certificate

To avoid paying charges above the monthly limit you should register for a family certificate and give this to your pharmacist.

The certificate lists all the members of your family so the pharmacist knows to not charge them over the limit.

Children in care

There are no prescription charges for children in care, foster care, foster care with relatives and other care placements who have medical cards.

If you're a carer responsible for a child in care, you can claim a full refund for prescription charges.


If you are living in emergency reception or an orientation centre you do not need to pay prescription charges, if the centre is:

  • provided under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme
  • administered by the Department of Justice and Equality


There is no prescription charge for methadone.

Long-term illness

The prescription charge will not apply to items supplied under the Long Term Illness Scheme, the Drugs Payment Scheme or private prescriptions. The charge does not apply to people covered by the Health (Amendment) Act 1996.

Page last reviewed: 21 October 2018
Next review due: 21 October 2021