In one fell swoop, I realised Irish citizens could reduce their outgoings for prescriptions, simply by driving north of the border or by spending a holiday in another European country where medical costs are much lower than in Ireland.
I saw busloads of American pensioners crossing over to Nogales while I lived in Arizona. The drugs in Mexico are much cheaper than in the States. So when you're on a fixed income, you do what you need to do to keep your costs in line.
The cost of pharmaceuticals continues to plague the Irish Minister for Health. After more than two years of trying, he can't seem to do a thing. My advice--get sick in another European country if you know you can walk into a doctor's surgery without collapsing.
[Bernie Goldbach visited the United Kingdom on holiday in July 2013 then returned to Ireland to hear similar stories on Irish national radio.]