Health Act 1970

Drugs, medicines and appliances.

59

59. (1) F116 [ Subject to sections 20 and 23 of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, a ] health board shall make arrangements for the supply without charge of drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances F117 [ , for the time being on the Reimbursement List within the meaning of section 2 (1) of that Act, ] to persons with full eligibility.

F118 [ (1A) Notwithstanding subsection (1) but subject to F119 [ subsections (1B) and (1C) and section 59A ] , a person with full eligibility who avails himself or herself of the service under subsection (1) shall be charged, by a community pharmacy contractor, an amount of F120 [ €1.50 ] , or such other amount as may be determined by regulations made by the Minister under this section, per item supplied to that person on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner or registered dentist, or on the prescription of a registered nurse (being a person whose name is entered in the register of nurses maintained under section 27 of the Nurses Act 1985 ) who is entitled pursuant to any enactment to prescribe the drugs, medicines or medical or surgical appliances so supplied.

(1B) ( a ) F121 [ Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) and subsection (3) of section 59A ] , the maximum aggregate amount payable in respect of items referred to in subsection (1A) supplied in a month to an adult person and his or her dependants shall be F120 [ €15.00 ] or such other amount as may be determined by regulations made by the Minister under this section.

( b ) The Health Service Executive shall make arrangements for the refunding, crediting or otherwise relieving persons from the payment of amounts charged that exceed F121 [ the maximum aggregate amount referred to in paragraph (a) or subsection (3) of section 59A ] and where, for any reason, such an excess amount is charged in respect of an adult person and his or her dependants, that excess amount shall be refunded or credited, or relief shall otherwise be granted, as the case may be, in relation to any such excess amount in accordance with such arrangements and subject to any regulations that the Minister may make under this section.

F122 [ ( c ) Where a child referred to in subsection (5B) of section 45 has full eligibility solely by reason of that subsection, the maximum aggregate amount referred to in paragraph (a) shall apply in respect of items referred to in subsection (1A) supplied in a month

(i) to that child, or

(ii) in the case where an allowance referred to in subsection (5B) of section 45 is being paid to the same person in respect of more than one such child, to those children. ]

(1C) A person who falls within any of the following classes shall not be charged an amount under subsection (1A):

( a ) children who are in the care of the Health Service Executive under the Child Care Acts 1991 to 2007;

( b ) persons to whom are supplied specified controlled drugs, within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs (Supervision of Prescription andSupply of Methadone) Regulations 1998 or such other regulations as may be made by the Minister under section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 for the purpose of preventing the misuse of controlled drugs, in respect of those specified controlled drugs;

( c ) persons who are of a class specified by the Minister in regulations made under this section.

(1D) Notwithstanding any other enactment, contract, arrangement, understanding, expectation, circular or other document, the payment that shall be made to a community pharmacy contractor in respect of services rendered by the community pharmacy contractor to or on behalf of the Health Service Executive in respect of the drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances dispensed by a registered pharmacist to persons and their dependants under this section shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amounts collectable by that community pharmacy contractor under subsection (1A), irrespective of whether those amounts are actually collected.

(1E) In subsections (1A) to (1D)

community pharmacy contractor means a registered pharmacist, company or other body corporate that provides services to the Health Service Executive under an agreement made in accordance with conditions specified by the Minister in 1971 or 1996, as amended from time to time, for the provision of community pharmacy services to eligible persons under subsection (1);

dependant , in relation to a person with full eligibility, includes an adult person with full eligibility, so long as that adult person is under the age of 21 years and receiving full time education and is wholly or mainly maintained by the first-mentioned person. ]

(2) When a person with limited eligibility, or a person with full eligibility who does not avail himself of the service under subsection (1), satisfies the chief effective officer of the health board that, F123 [ in respect of a prescribed period and to a prescribed amount ], he has incurred expenditure on drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances F117 [ , for the time being on the Reimbursement List within the meaning of section 2 (1) of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, ] which were obtained on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner F124 [ , or on the prescription of a registered nurse (being a person whose name is entered in the register of nurses maintained under section 27 of the Nurses Act 1985 ) entitled pursuant to any enactment to prescribe the drugs, medicines or medical or surgical appliances so obtained, ] and were for the treatment of that person or his dependants, the health board shall make arrangements to meet the balance of the cost, or a proportion thereof (as may be prescribed) of the person's being supplied in respect of that period with such drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances.

(3) A health board may make arrangements for the supply without charge of drugs, medicines or medical and surgical appliances F117 [ , for the time being on the Reimbursement List within the meaning of section 2 (1) of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, ] to persons suffering from a prescribed disease or disability of a permanent or long-term nature.

F123 [ (4) ( a ) The Minister may make regulations

(i) subject to paragraph ( b ), varying either or both of the amounts referred to in subsections (1A) and (1B)( a ),

(ii) subject to paragraph ( c ), specifying other classes of persons who shall not be charged the amount referred to in subsection (1A) either in respect of all items supplied to persons of that class or specified categories of such items, and

(iii) where the Minister considers it necessary to do so, in relation to the refund, credit or other relief of amounts in excess of the maximum aggregate amount referred to in subsection (1B).

( b ) The Minister shall make regulations under paragraph ( a )(i) only where he or she is of opinion that such a variation is desirable, having regard to such of the following as he or she considers appropriate:

(i) information on the consumer price index made available by the Central Statistics Office from time to time;

(ii) recent information on the aggregate of the amounts expended, and the number of items in respect of which those amounts were expended, by the Health Service Executive in providing the service under subsection (1);

(iii) the medical needs of, and the financial burden on, persons who avail themselves of the service under subsection (1);

(iv) the necessity of controlling expenditure in relation to the provision by the State of health services.

( c ) The Minister shall make regulations under paragraph ( a )(ii) only where he or she is of opinion that not to charge the amount referred to in subsection (1A) to such a class is just and equitable in the circumstances, having regard to such of the following as he or she considers appropriate:

(i) the particular medical condition, disability or medical needs of persons of that class;

(ii) the number of prescription items required in respect of the condition, disability or medical needs referred to in subparagraph (i);

(iii) recent information on the aggregate of the amounts expended, and the number of items in respect of which those amounts were expended, by the Health Service Executive in providing the service under subsection (1), either generally or in respect of persons of that class;

(iv) the necessity of controlling expenditure in relation to the provision by the State of health services;

(v) whether the overall financial situation of all, or substantially all, of the persons of that class is significantly worse than that of other persons who are charged amounts under subsection (1A).

( d ) Regulations under this section shall be made with the consent of the Minister for Finance. ]

F117 [ (5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the operation of section 26 of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. ]

Annotations

Amendments:

F116

Substituted (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 30(a)(i), S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

F117

Inserted (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 30(a)(ii)-(d), S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

F118

Inserted (1.10.2010) by Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2010 (20/2010), s. 1(a), S.I. No. 415 of 2010.

F119

Substituted (14.04.2017) by Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (5/2017), s. 3(a), (b)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 155 of 2017.

F120

Substituted (1.11.2020) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 464 of 2020), regs. 3, 4, in effect as per reg. 2.

F121

Substituted (14.04.2017) by Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (5/2017), s. 3(a), (b)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 155 of 2017.

F122

Inserted (1.06.2017) by Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (5/2017), s. 3(b)(iii), S.I. No. 155 of 2017.

F123

Substituted (1.10.2010) by Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2010 (20/2010), s. 1(b), (c), S.I. No. 415 of 2010.

F124

Inserted (27.02.2009) by Irish Medicines Board (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (3/2006), s. 26, S.I. No. 67 of 2009.

Modifications (not altering text):

C32

Application of section affected (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 20, S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

Conditional supply of listed items.

20.— (1) The Executive may attach conditions to the supply or reimbursement, under section 59 of the Act of 1970, of listed items (including classes of listed items) in the interests of one or more of the following:

(a) patient safety;

(b) cost-effectiveness;

(c) maximising appropriate use of the listed items concerned;

(d) appropriately applying the resources available to the Executive.

...

C33

Application of subs. (2) restricted (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 24(7), S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

Reference price for listed items which fall within group of interchangeable medicinal products.

24.— ...

(7) Section 59(2) of the Act of 1970 applies to the following expenditure:

(a) expenditure on a relevant listed item if, and only if, the relevant listed item is priced at or below the reference price;

(b) expenditure on a relevant listed item which is priced above the reference price if, and only if, the medicinal product is the subject of a clinical exemption; and

(c) expenditure on a relevant listed item which is priced above the reference price but only up to the reference price.

C34

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Finance” and “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 2, 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 6-9.

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of any functions transferred by this Order are transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

Schedule 1

Enactments

...

Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

(1)

(2)

(3)

...

...

...

No. 1 of 1970

Health Act 1970

Sections 44, 45, 52, 53, 56 and 59

...

...

...

C35

Term “registered medical practitioner” construed (3.07.2008) by Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (25/2007), s. 108(1), S.I. No. 231 of 2008.

Construction of references to registered medical practitioner and Medical Council, etc.

108.— (1) Every reference to a registered medical practitioner contained in any enactment or any statutory instrument shall be construed as a reference to a registered medical practitioner within the meaning of section 2.

...

C36

References to “health board” construed as references to Health Service Executive (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (42/2004), ss. 56(a), 66, S.I. No. 887 of 2004.

Definitions (Part 10).

56.—In this Part “specified body” means—

(a) the health boards,

...

References to specified bodies.

66.—Subject to this Act, references (however expressed) to a specified body in any Act passed before the establishment day, or in any instrument made before that day under an Act, are to be read as references to the Executive, unless the context otherwise requires.

Editorial Notes:

E222

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.11.2020) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 464 of 2020), in effect as per reg. 2.

E223

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.11.2020) by Health Services (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 463 of 2020), in effect as per reg. 2.

E224

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2018) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 577 of 2017), in effect as per reg. 2.

E225

Power pursuant to subs. (4)(a)(ii) exercised (16.12.2016) by Health Act 1970 (Section 59(4)) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 635 of 2016).

E226

Power pursuant to subs. (4)(a)(ii) exercised (8.09.2015) by Health Act 1970 (Section 59(4)) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 382 of 2015).

E227

Power pursuant to section exercised (31.01.2002) by Health (Community Pharmacy Contractor Agreement) Regulations, 1996 (Revocation) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 28 of 2002).

E228

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.04.1975) by Health Services (Amendment) Regulations 1975 (S.I. No. 64 of 1975), in effect as per reg. 2.

E229

Power pursuant to section exercised (5.07.1973) by Health Services Regulations 1973 (S.I. No. 184 of 1973).

E230

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.04.1972) by Health Services Regulations 1972 (S.I. No. 88 of 1972), in effect as per reg. 3.

E231

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.10.1971) by Health Services (Amendment) Regulations 1971 (S.I. No. 277 of 1971), in effect as per reg. 3.

E232

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.04.2019) by Health Services (Amendment ) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 59 of 2019), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.11.2020) by Health Services (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 463 of 2020), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.

E233

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2018) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 553 of 2017), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.11.2020) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 464 of 2020), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2 .

E234

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.12.2013) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 437 of 2013), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2018) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 553 of 2017), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.

E235

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2013) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 545 of 2012), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.12.2013) by Health Services (Prescription Charges) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 437 of 2013), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.

E236

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2013) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 526 of 2012), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2017) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 577 of 2017), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E237

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2012) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 648 of 2011), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2013) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 526 of 2012), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E238

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2010) by Health Services (Drugs Payment Scheme) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 536 of 2009), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2012) by Health Services (Drug Payment Scheme) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 648 of 2011), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E239

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2009) by Health Services Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 519 of 2008), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2010) by Health Services (Drugs Payment Scheme) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 536 of 2009), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E240

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2008) by Health Services Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 837 of 2007), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2009) by Health Services Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 519 of 2008), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E241

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2005) by Health Services Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 832 of 2004), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2008) by Health Services Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 837 of 2007), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E242

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2004) by Health Services Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 658 of 2003), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2005) by Health Services Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 832 of 2004), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E243

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2003) by Health Services Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 603 of 2002), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2004) by Health Services Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 658 of 2003), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E244

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.08.2002) by Health Services Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 368 of 2002), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.01.2003) by Health Services Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 603 of 2002), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E245

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.03.2001) by Health Services Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 66 of 2001), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.08.2002) by Health Services Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 368 of 2002), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E246

Previous affecting provision: section substituted by Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2001 (14/2001), s. 1(1)(b), not commenced; s. 1(1)(b) (24.06.2013) by Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 (14/2013), s. 31, S.I. No. 202 of 2013.

E247

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (4) exercised (31.05.1996) by Health (Community Pharmacy Contractor Agreement) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 152 of 1996), in effect as per reg. 13; revoked (31.01.2002) by Health (Community Pharmacy Contractor Agreement) Regulations, 1996 (Revocation) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 28 of 2002), reg. 2.

E248

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.08.1991) by Health Services Regulations 1991 (S.I. No. 203 of 1991), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.03.2001) by Health Services Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 66 of 2001), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E249

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.1991) by Health Services Regulations 1990 (S.I. No. 334 of 1990), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.08.1991) by Health Services Regulations 1991 (S.I. No. 203 of 1991), reg. 4, in effect as per reg. 2.

E250

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.1984) by Health Services (No. 4) Regulations 1983 (S.I. No. 389 of 1983), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.08.1991) by Health Services Regulations 1991 (S.I. No. 203 of 1991), reg. 4, in effect as per reg. 2.

E251

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.03.1983) by Health Services Regulations 1983 (S.I. No. 54 of 1983), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.08.1991) by Health Services Regulations 1991 (S.I. No. 203 of 1991), reg. 4, in effect as per reg. 2.

E252

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.09.1982) by Health Services Regulations 1982 (S.I. No. 283 of 1982), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.03.1983) by Health Services Regulations 1983 (S.I. No. 54 of 1983), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E253

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.08.1981) by Health Services Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 267 of 1981), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.09.1982) by Health Services Regulations 1982 (S.I. No. 283 of 1982), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E254

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.03.1980) by Health Services Regulations 1980 (S.I. No. 61 of 1980), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.08.1981) by Health Services Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 267 of 1981), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E255

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.05.1976) by Health Services Regulations 1976 (S.I. No. 97 of 1976), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (1.03.1980) by Health Services Regulations 1980 (S.I. No. 61 of 1980), reg. 3, in effect as per reg. 2.

E256

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (5.08.1975) by Health Services Regulations, 1972 (Amendment) Regulations 1975 (S.I. No. 181 of 1975); revoked (1.04.2019) by Health Services (Amendment ) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 59 of 2019), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.