How many test strips can we dispense on DPS? | ICPhA

How many test strips can we dispense on DPS? is temporarily open to anonymous access. Please REGISTER your own account to ensure continued access.

By signing up, you will also enable additional functionality, such as COMMENTING, SEARCHING, VOTING ON/VIEWING polls and gain ACCESS to the PRIVATE FORUM area.

Register »

That's an interesting question, as we don't typically dispense test strips on DPS, but rather LTI. However there are situations where you might, such as prediabetes or gestational diabetes.

As this was another area where the HSE was bleeding money, they brought in reimbursement restrictions as of 1st April 2016 in their 011/16 circular dated 16th March 2016.

In the circular the restrictions are set as follows:

  • There will be no limit for patients treated with insulin.
  • Patients managed on sulphonylurea or meglitinide drugs will be reimbursed for 2 boxes of test strips per month i.e. 1,200 test strips/annum.
  • Patients managed on oral hypoglycaemic drugs other than sulphonylurea or meglitinide drugs will be reimbursed for 1 box of test strips per month i.e. 600 test strips/annum.
  • Patients managed through diet alone will be reimbursed for 2 boxes of test strips per annum i.e. 100 test strips/annum.

What they didn't make particularly clear though, was what about the non type 2 diabetes patients, who may occasionally need the test strips, but will not be eligible for an LTI book (gestational diabetes is not covered on LTI). Here's what the HSE circular said in relation to this.

"It is appreciated that there are clinical situations where enhanced blood glucose monitoring may be required (e.g. acute illness, therapy changes, pregnancy) and in such cases extra reimbursement support is available via an on-line application system through the GP application suite. This service is available to allow immediate access to additional test strips reimbursed under the community drugs schemes."

In practice what has transpired is that the HSE are covering one box of 50(!) strips every 6 months on the DPS scheme. If the patient needs more than that, then their GP can apply for a larger quantity via their GP application suite.

NB: Some test strip packs contain more than 50 strips, such as Accu Chek Mobile, in which case you will need to open the pack and dispense just one drum per month / 6 months as the case may be.

UPDATE: As is unfortunately not unusual for HSE administration, they have come up with an elaborate solution for the Gestational Diabetes test strip conundrum. The trouble is that it does not appear to be working 100% in practice. At least you can quote the letter if you get a reject. Please see below for details.

Reimbursement of Glucose strips in Gestational Diabetes

In a follow up letter Prof Michael Barry, who is clinical lead of the Medicines Management Programme, stated that, PCRS have adjusted the individual reimbursement system for blood glucose monitoring strips to allow DPS patients of a particular profile (women of childbearing age) to continue to receive reimbursement without registration by their physician on the online process.

See the full letter and FAQ at:

Latest Articles

  • Important COVID-19 resources for healthcare professionals

    With the first case of COVID-19 now confirmed in Ireland it's important to stay abreast of the latest developments. Let's start with some statistics. Incubation period It is widely reported that the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 to 14 days, however there are also reports of up to...
  • Can pharmacies exchange medicines when they have excess stock?

    Can pharmacies exchange medicines when they have excess stock? Managing pharmacy stock in a way that ensures uninterrupted supply to as many patients as possible, while also maintaining manageable stock levels, has always been challenging, but became even more so with the introduction of the 10-day...
  • Centralisation of the Drugs Payment Scheme

    Some of us though this day would never come, but it's official now, the administration of the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) is just days away from finally being centralised. Starting on 26th November 2018, you can contact the National Medical Card Unit, PCRS whenever you have an issue relating to the...

Latest News

  • 2019 PSI Council Election Campaigns Have Begun

    As of 2nd April 2019 the ballot papers have been posted out to the electoral register to elect four new pharmacist members to the PSI council for a four year term. The PSI council is made up of 21 members, of which 10 are pharmacist members and 11 are non-pharmacist members. As a profession we are...
  • Facebook Deletes the Largest Irish Pharmacist Group

    Last week, without any warning, Facebook deleted the largest Irish pharmacist group of over 2600 members. This is now being appealed but it is anyone's guess if and when the group will be restored. Given how quickly and unexpectedly this has happened, it would be very prudent to have a backup...
  • No More Paper Based Claims Listings

    In another cost cutting measure, the HSE PCRS will stop posting out physical paper-based claims listings from 1st July 2018. The document will then only be available online via the Pharmacy Application Suite. Small exception has been made for manual claiming pharmacies, which will receive their...
  • LTI Non-Core List Reimbursement to Change in July

    The HSE have signaled that they will reduce the reimbursement period of non-approved non-core LTI items from current 4 months to just 2 months beginning on the 1st of July 2018. This change is being introduced ahead of the promised improved visibility of these individually approved items via the...
  • Can we still use faxes under GDPR?

    It's the eve of GDPR implementation and one of our favourite tools is under threat. A lot of rumors have been going around regarding the use of fax to transfer personal information such as an emergency supply script for example. Well, we're happy to report that you can take a deep breath and relax...