Budget 2018 | Health Measures | Pharmacy Patients

Budget 2018

Budget 2018 was presented by The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, on Tuesday October 10th.  The main changes which affect pharmacy patients are as follows –

Medical Card Patients

For medical card patients aged under 70 years, the HSE prescription levy will reduce from €2.50 to €2.00 per item from January 1st, 2018.  In addition, the maximum monthly charge will be capped at €20 for a family.

Drugs Payment Scheme Patients

The monthly threshold will reduce from €144 to €134 from January 1st.  This is the first reduction since the DPS scheme was introduced in  Ireland in 1999 and can see annual savings of up to €120 for a family.


The Minister has increased the cost of a packet of 20 cigarettes by 50 cent.  This pushes the price over €12 per pack for the first time. It means that a 20-a-day habit is costing the smoker over €4,300 a year.  It’s never to late to think about quitting so why not make a positive change for your health and your pocket and check out our stop smoking service.

Sugar Tax

A sugar tax is planned for April 2018.  This will see 30 cent per litre added to drinks containing more than 8g of sugar per 100mls.  A reduced rate of 20 cent per litre will apply where the sugar content is between 5g and 8g per 100mls.  These measures will hopefully be a starting point in tackling Ireland’s obesity epidemic.


Fortune’s Pharmacy welcomes these changes but we are disappointed that the reduction in DPS and Medical Card payments were not greater.

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