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How to Save Money on Your Prescriptions in Ireland

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generic prescription
Image 1: Generic Rx.

More and more people have been taking an ever closer look at their finances in an attempt to stretch their budget that little bit further. Despite a number of significant price drops in recent years, Ireland is still one of the most expensive countries to buy medicines in. To combat this, we will be taking a look at a couple of ways of reducing your medicines bill, so that you're not forking out any more than you absolutely have to.

For most goods and services the price calculation is pretty straight forward. It will typically consist of a cost price + markup + VAT. So for an item that costs €10 from supplier, the merchant will add a markup of say 30% and VAT at 21%, bringing the total price to €10 x 1.3 x 1.21 = €15.73. So if you want to buy two of these, you'll be paying 2 x €15.73 = €31.46. Simple right? So why is this important? Read on!


Codeine-Containing Medicines Taken Off the Shelves in Ireland

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From the 1st of August 2010 many popular painkillers such as Solpadeine and Nurofen Plus are no longer visible on the pharmacy shelves. This comes on foot of the new statutory guidelines published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) concerning the supply of non-prescription medicinal products containing codeine.

Availability of Codeine-Containing Medicines in Ireland

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In recent years, there has been a tendency amongst governmental regulatory bodies in different countries, including the Irish Medicines Board, toward de-regulation of prescription-only medicines to pharmacy status medicines in an effort to reduce state drug budgets. This practice has the added benefit of reducing the workload of GPs, of increasing patient self-medication, and, of extending the screening and patient education roles of community pharmacists. Accordingly, and especially in light of the current economic climate, this tendency is unlikely to revert. [1] Regulatory bodies have however faced criticism over this movement due to the safety concerns associated with the increased availability of potentially dangerous drug-substances. Codeine is an example of one such drug.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice

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head louse
Image 1: Head louse.

Surprisingly, perhaps, head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are still a very common problem, particularly in schools and kindergartens. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a sign of uncleanness or poor hygiene. Anyone can get infected with this tiny parasite, however it is most often found in children from 3 to 12 years of age. Head lice are specialized to live on the human head. If you find lice on any other part of the body covered with hair, they are not head lice but a different type of sucking lice (pubic lice or body lice). Head lice are not dangerous, they don’t spread disease, but they are contagious and usually a very annoying problem.


Smoking Cessation

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Image 1: Nicotine.

Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), predominantly in tobacco. In low concentrations (an average cigarette yields about 1 mg of absorbed nicotine), the substance acts as a stimulant in mammals and is one of the main factors responsible for the dependence-forming properties of tobacco smoking.