Our health and wellness series continues with Pharmacist Emer King from Inish Pharmacy.

Inish Pharmacy comprises three independently owned community pharmacies serving Inishowen, and worldwide via Ireland’s best online pharmacy website, inishpharmacy.com. Visit the stores in Buncrana, Muff and Carndonagh for a full range of pharmacy services including dispensing of prescriptions and advice, over the counter products and great offers on toiletries, cosmetics and health related products in store.

This week, Emer will share guidance on how to access the new free contraception service for 17 to 25 year old women and people.

From September 2022; contraception has been made available free of charge to certain groups.

The requirements to avail of free contraception are as follows; You must be –

  • A girl or person with a uterus
  • Aged between 17-25 years old (This scheme will then be extended to include age range from 16-30 in September 2023 in line with Budget 2023.)
  • Living in Ireland (have a PPSN – this can be found on your social services card, payslip or you can contact your local social welfare office to enquire)

*You do NOT need to have a medical card*

What contraception costs are free?

  • Any Doctor/GP appointments about your contraception options (with participating GP) 
  • Contraception prescriptions & medications
  • Emergency contraception (the morning-after-pill) NOTE: This can be done directly with the pharmacist and does not require a prescription.
  • Fitting, removal and check-ups of long-acting reversible contraception
  • Other types of contraception such as contraceptive injections, implants, IUS and IUDs (coils), the contraceptive patch and contraceptive ring

How do I avail of this service?

When booking in with your doctor; ensure they are registered to provide the scheme, they are aware that you fit within the age bracket and that they have your PPSN on record. Your consultation to discuss contraception options will be free and they will provide you with a prescription free of charge for your agreed upon option.

What if I cannot get an appointment with my doctor?

If you cannot get in to see your regular doctor, the option to use an online doctor service is still there.

The online doctors are a private service so they will charge a consultation fee for the prescription. However, even if you have gone through an online doctor and had to pay for the prescription you can still get the medication from the pharmacy free of charge.

The Pharmacy

Pharmacies do have to opt in to provide this service so do double check that your pharmacy can provide your medication free of charge.

As a younger female pharmacist, I am delighted with the announcement of this scheme and so I actively seek out patients who may avail of it when they request prescriptions. However, this may not always be the case, so please if you feel you may be entitled to the scheme – ask any member of staff when requesting your prescription and they will check with the pharmacist for you. 

You will be required to give the pharmacist your PPSN and date of birth the first time you partake in the service. This can then be added to your record on the first dispensing and you will not be asked again.

Depending on the prescription the doctor gives you, you may be entitled to get one, three or six months in the one dispensing. 

If your local pharmacy is not providing the service or you are struggling to get your medication for free, please feel free to contact us. We can answer any questions you may have. We also provide a next day delivery service for all of Ireland & could arrange to ship your free prescription to you. (shipping fee of €4.99 will apply)

Emer King
Inish Pharmacy

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