Cross-border prescriptions will make life easier for anyone travelling overseas – Varadkar

New laws have been signed by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar allowing cross-border prescriptions to be issued by Irish GPs which can be used by patients anywhere in the EU.

“This will make a real difference for Irish people travelling outside of the country. It means that people won’t have to worry about running out of medicine while on holiday or away on business in the EU, so long as they bring a cross-border prescription with them. It also means that anyone who falls ill elsewhere in the EU, and is prescribed medicine while abroad, will be able to purchase that medicine when they return home if they have obtained a cross-border prescription,” Minister Varadkar said.

“These measures are being taken under the EU Cross Border Directive, which was set up to ensure that Member States work together more closely in the interest of patients. It’s a good example of why the European Union was set up in the first place: not to impose rules and regulations on people but rather to make travel, trade and movement around the continent more free.”
Minister Varadkar signed the measures into law through a Statutory Instrument. This amendment to prescription regulations ensures that a patient can obtain medicine in another EU Member State, using an Irish prescription, provided that the medicine in question is authorised for sale and available in that country.

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Note for Editors

This Statutory Instrument derives from the Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, which lays down rules on access to safe and high-quality cross border healthcare and on reimbursement of such healthcare. It puts a legal framework in place to encourage cooperation between Member States in key areas of healthcare, including on measures to improve the recognition of prescriptions issued in another Member State (‘cross-border prescriptions’).