Press Release

Reductions in payments under FEMPI

The Minister for Health and Children, Dr James Reilly TD today (Thursday, 31st March 2011) announced that, following a consultation process under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009, he has decided to reduce certain payments made by the HSE to community pharmacy contractors under the General Medical Services and community drugs schemes. The details are as follows:

  • A reduction from 10% to 8% in the wholesale mark-up payable in respect of drugs dispensed under the GMS and community drugs schemes.
  • A reduction from 50 % to 20% in the retail mark-up payable under the Drugs Payment Scheme and the Long Term Illness Scheme in respect of non-drug items, controlled drugs and fridge items.
  • A 50% reduction in the Patient Care Fee under the High-Tech Medicines Scheme for months when medicine is not dispensed (fee to be reduced from €60.52 to €30.26) .

The estimated annual savings from the measures is €36m and approximately €24 m in 2011. The Minister has directed his Department to arrange for the drafting of regulations under that Act to give effect to these reductions as soon as possible.

The HSE spent an estimated €1.9 billion in 2010 on medicines and non-drug items supplied to patients under the GMS and community drug schemes. This included approximately €384m paid to community pharmacy contractors in respect of dispensing fees and retail mark-ups. An additional €119m was paid in respect of wholesale costs.

Non-drug items include dressings, incontinence products and ostomy products.