The HSE has said that 776 pharmacist contractors have given the Executive agreement termination notices. A total of 867 pharmacies will be open for medical card and other State drugs schemes from August 1, as 30 days’ notice is required to terminate the Community Pharmacy Contractor Agreement.
The HSE confirmed these pharmacies will operate the Medical Card, Drugs Payment and Long Term Illness Schemes.
Paddy Burke, Head of the HSE’s Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS), said that the total annual distribution costs of €640 million — payable to wholesalers and pharmacists — was being lowered by 20 per cent.
On average, each prescription consists of just over three items. Under the new fee structure, pharmacists will on average receive €4 per item dispensed, which equates to an average fee of €12 per prescription.
Community pharmacists dispense 55 million prescription items annually.