Pharmacists Sick Of Government Health Plan

Pharmacists have told the Irish Government they will halt the Departments's sponsored health schemes if controversial HSE plans go ahead.

The government’s plan to cut the payments made to pharmacies to pay for drugs and medicines has been met with opposition by pharmacists who have threatened to stop operating the medical card and drug-payment scheme.

The Health Minister, Mary Harney, has moved to reassure patients saying they will not be affected by such a move.

The HSE planned to introduce measures to reduce the wholesale price of drugs paid to pharmacies from 18% to seven per cent on in a bid to cut costs by €100 million a year.

But pharmacists claim the move will not only lead to 300 of them going out of business but will also have a major impact on patients.

Ms Harney has hit back at the outcry however by pointing out Irish pharmacists enjoy the highest mark-up in the world from drug sales.

Ms Harney also said a HSE helpline will be available from Saturday to ensure patients can get access to their medication if pharmacies carry through their threat.


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