According to a RTE Prime Time investigation, it is understood the sate spent a whopping €380 million on pharmacy fees for prescription drugs for medical card holders in the year 2014.
The report found that a total of 59 million drugs were issued to patients, with each pharmacist receiving a fee of between €3.50 and €5 for dispensing the drugs.
The programme also found that a further €14m was also spent paying pharmacists to dispense many costly drugs to medical card patients.
It is believed that Asprin a heart disease medication was the most dispensed drug that particular year costing the state a heft €3.3m, whilst Atorvastatin, a cholesterol medication, was the second most prescribed drug in 2014.
The ridiculously high fees is most likely not going to be welcomed by the Irish taxpayer as recent reports suggest that the Irish public spends the most on prescription drugs each year compared to their EU counterparts.
Meanwhile Professor Michael Barry, Director of the Irish Centre for Pharmaeconomics, said; “We need to look at all aspects of pharmaceutical expenditure and pharmacy fees are no different, these figures are one of the drivers in recommending that we look at pharmacy fees.
“You may decide at the end of it all the fees we are paying are totally appropriate, however when you have such discrepancies where you have a drug price that is a fraction of what the HSE is paying then yes – it is legitimate to look at this.”