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Oral nutritional supplements

Reimbursement of standard oral nutritional supplements

From 1 July 2019, the Primary Care Reimbursement Service is introducing changes to the reimbursement of standard oral nutritional supplements (ONS) on the Community Drug Schemes. These changes are in line with the Standard Oral Nutritional Supplements First-line Prescribing List for Adults Living in the Community (2019).

There is no change to the reimbursement of ONS unless the product is on List B

Non first-line standard ONS products (List B)  will require prior reimbursement approval for dispensing on the Community Drug Schemes.

First-line standard ONS products (List A) which are nutritionally comparable to List B products will not require reimbursement approval.

This initiative will apply to both new and existing patients. 

Standard ONS prescribing guidance and dietary resources 


HSE Primary Care and the Medicines Management Programme (MMP) have developed guidance to promote the appropriate prescribing of standard oral nutritional supplements (ONS) for adults living in the community as part of a nutrition supports online toolkit.

The nutrition supports online toolkit is available here

The toolkit includes the following information and resources:

For healthcare professionals

For patients

The purpose of the prescribing guidance below is to assist in improving the quality of care provided to adults who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition by providing prescribers with a best practice ONS Prescribing Pathway for the appropriate initiation and renewal of ONS prescriptions.

Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division