How to Avoid Prescription Charges

People with diabetes who have medical cards can now avoid prescription charges as they are entitled to a Long Term Illness (LTI) card. Following a recent change in department of Health policy,if you are a person with diabetes who holds a medical card, you can also now apply for, and be granted, a long Term Illness Scheme card.

People with medical cards get free GP treatment and while the cost of drugs is also covered under medical cards, holders must pay a €2.50 prescription charge. However, there are no prescription charges imposed on LTI cardholders. Diabetes is one of the conditions recognised for inclusion in the LlTI scheme.

The LTI card allows people with diabetes to receive drugs medicines and medical appliances
directly related to their condition, free of charge. Qualification for the LTI card does not depend on a person’s income, but on being on a list of designated illnesses that qualify for the card, of which diabetes is one.

The medical card on the other hand is means-tested, but can also be provided on a discretionary basis in exceptional circumstances. People who have diabetes often have to take a number of different medications, so therefore the prescription charges can add up each month.

How do I get an LTI card?

  • Diabetes patients who wish to apply for an LTI card need to contact their Local Health Office.
  • A full list of local health offices is available here. You can also download a form here. 
  • The form needs to be signed by your doctor or consultant to confirm your condition and list your medication. 
  • Once you have the form completed please return to your Local Health Office.