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Out-of-hours pharmacies to stop charging extra

21:04 08/09/2019

Buying medicine from an out-of-hours pharmacy will no longer be more expensive from later this year - provided you have a doctor's prescription.

Ministers have agreed to scrap the surcharge that duty pharmacies currently apply to products sold outside of normal opening hours.

The extra charge - €5.32 - is used to compensate pharmacists for being on-call overnight or at weekends. Instead, they will receive a fixed fee for out-of-hours work.

The bill was put forward by federal health minister Maggie De Block and has now received approval from the Council of Ministers. It is expected to come into force before the end of the year.

The measure only applies to medicines with a prescription. Customers could still face a surcharge if they want to buy over-the-counter medicines, such as painkillers, or other items such as baby milk or hygiene products from an overnight pharmacy.

Written by The Bulletin