1. Visit to your consultant
at hospital or one of our local healthcare centres
2. Submit documentation to POYC
so that it can be processed accordingly
3. Receive entitlement documents
enlisting all of the free medication that you are entitled to
4. Collect your medicines
for free, from the pharmacy you have been registered with
Visit to your doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of chronic disease, visit a medical professional at Mater Dei Hospital or one of the government’s healthcare centres (in general, for most conditions, new applications must be made by consultants, however, health centre doctors can apply for hypertension and cholesterol treatment and private doctors who are specialists in family medicine can only apply for renewal of such treatment).
He or she will carry out a patient assessment and diagnosis, and will follow the government formulary list to select a treatment which is suitable for you. Following this, the doctor will fill in the appropriate documentation:
The Medicines Request Form and the prescription would then need to be submitted to the Medicines Approval Section (MAS) one stop shop, the unit responsible for the co-ordination and approval of the entitlement system. You can submit your documents by:
- Health Services Building Pjazza San Luqa G’Mangia, Pieta’, PTA 1012 (St. Luke’s Hospital) OR
- Level 1, Mater Dei Hospital Triq Dun Karm, L-Imsida, MSD2090
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 1:00pm
- Medicines Request form
- Prescription (enlisting all the medicines in the medicines request form)
- ID Card
Inform the administrative clerk that is processing your documentation the specific pharmacy (participating in the POYC scheme) that you would like to collect your entitled medication from.
Send the below documentation to: Pharmacy Of Your Choice Unit St. Luke’s Hospital, G’Mangia, Pieta’, PTA 1012
- Medicines Request Form
- Prescription (enlisting all the medicines in the medicines request form)
- Photocopy of ID Card
- A filled in pharmacy registration form – In order to collect this, visit a pharmacy within your locality that is participating in the POYC Scheme and inform the pharmacist of your interest to register with the pharmacy.
Upon successful processing of the submitted forms, the following documents will be issued (where applicable):
The above documentation will be given to you at the time your documents are processed at the MAS one stop shop if you have gone there directly, or will be received by post (usually within 5-7 days), at your home address, if you have sent the documents through the post.
If you are a diabetic patient or are prescribed controlled substances, please see our FAQs.
Collecting your entitled medicines from your chosen pharmacy
Once any of the applicable documents are issued under your name, take these, together with a valid prescription to the pharmacy you are registered with (a prescription can either be obtained privately from your general practitioner or by a doctor at a healthcare centre; WHITE prescriptions are valid for 6 months from the date of issue).
The pharmacist will dispense an 8-week supply in accordance to the prescription shown at the time. He/she will also note down your next due date – be sure to take your POYC documents 2-3 days before this date to the pharmacy to allow duly time for your medication to be prepared to avoid running out of your supply.
Patients are to collect their medicines from the pharmacy they are registered with every 28 days (1 month) for controlled drugs (GREEN prescriptions) and every 56 days (2 months) for all other medicines (WHITE prescriptions). Every time you collect your medicines, your pharmacist will write down your next due date. In order to allow sufficient time for your medicines to be prepared, be sure to drop off all your necessary documents 2-3 days before this date, and return to the pharmacy within the following days for collection.
Once you receive all of your entitled documents (Schedule II/V), take a photocopy of these, together with a photocopy of your ID Card and a prescription enlisting all of your medication to the pharmacy where you wish to collect your medication. Ask the pharmacist to give you a pharmacy registration form and fill in Section A of the form. Return all of the documents to the pharmacist, who will then fill in Section B of the pharmacy registration form and will forward the documentation to the Pharmacy of Your Choice Unit.
Processing of such documentation will take between 2-4 days, after which you will be able to collect your medication.
If you were previously registered with another pharmacy and wish to change the pharmacy of your choice, complete the change in pharmacy form. Give the completed form to the managing pharmacist at the pharmacy and he/she will send this document to the POYC unit where your registration will be transferred.
The process for controlled substances is slightly different. Controlled drugs are dangerous drugs that are regulated by the Controlled Drugs Ordinance Cap.101. If your consultant has prescribed a controlled substance, he or she will fill an application form for narcotic and psychotropic substances issue a GREEN prescription.
In order to collect such drugs through the POYC scheme, you would need to submit both documents, together with a photocopy of your ID Card, to the Drug Control Unit at St. Luke’s Hospital POYC section. This can be done either directly by hand or through the post.* Upon successful processing of the documentation, the Drug Control Card Unit will issue a control card (a card that is used to monitor and control the use of such drugs as stipulated by the law) under your name. This will be given to you at the time of your visit or you will receive it at your home address if the documents where sent through the post.
Once the controlled card has been issued in your name, you can collect your entitled controlled substances from the pharmacy of your choice. When collecting controlled drugs, patients are required to present:
- A valid a control card duly filled-in by the medical practitioner
- A valid GREEN prescription (which is valid for only ONE month from issue date, and provides a 4-week supply, rather than an 8-week supply like the WHITE prescription).
- Your ID Card
*If you are not yet registered with a pharmacy, then you would need to do so. This can either be done by informing the administrative clerk that is processing your documentation the specific pharmacy that you would like to collect your entitled medication from, or by sending also a filled in pharmacy registration form from the specific pharmacy where you would like to start collecting your medicines.
If you have a control card, it is good to note that this expires every year after which you would need to renew it as without it you will not be able to collect your psychotropic medication. To renew your control card, you will have to follow the same process as a new application for narcotic or psychotropic substances (See previous FAQ).
It is good to note that your Schedule V document expires every 10 years whilst your Schedule II document expires every 2 years, after which you would need to renew it. Without it you will not be able to collect your chronic medication. To renew your Schedule V or II document, your consultant would need to submit a new application as per step 1.
I am a diabetic patient, does this mean I am entitled to other medical supplies through the POYC scheme?
If you are a diabetic patient, following your visit to your consultant, proceed to a Diabetic Clinic (and NOT the MAS one stop shop) at MaterDei Hospital or one of the healthcare centres. There, they will process & issue the following documentation:
- Schedule V document
- Any permits (for protocol regulated items).
- An application from the Medicines Entitlement Unit for protocol regulated medicines, for any medical products associated with the care of wounds, if required (e.g. dressings, saline). This needs to be submitted to the Central Procurement Supplies Unit (CPSU). At the time of submission, an entitlement document will be issued by CPSU, after which, you will be able to collect the entitled medical supplies from the pharmacy of your choice.
- An application for a glucose monitor. You will then receive a Europharma blood glucose monitor loan agreement in the post. Take this with you to the pharmacy you have chosen to collect your entitled medicines from, and the managing pharmacist will fill this in and then dispense the blood glucose monitoring machine.*
In line with the new Health Policy Strategy diabetic patients holding a valid Schedule V (Yellow Card) are also entitled to:
- Blood sugar monitoring strips (Alternate 200 and 250 every 2 months for type I and type II insulin dependent patients, and 150 (1st time) and 50 strips thereafter for type II patients taking oral medication)
- Syringes (up to 2 syringes a day for both type I and type II insulin dependent diabetics)
- Alcohol wipes (120 every 2 months for type I and type II Insulin dependent patients)
*In case of any problems with the blood glucose monitoring machines, patients are requested to call the agents on 2385 9245 who will be guided to arrange an appointment for collection of their glucose meter, currently opened strips and contract from the pharmacy they are registered with.