NHS prescription fee rise to £7.65 comes in to effect

 

Neal Patel, Royal Pharmaceutical Society: "We'd like to see the government look at the reform of these charges"

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An increase in NHS prescription charges in England of 25p to £7.65 has come into effect.

Health Minister Simon Burns outlined the changes earlier this year, and the government says exemptions mean 90% of prescription items are dispensed free.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society campaigned for a freeze and says the rises are completely unacceptable.

Dental treatment costs will also rise. There are no prescription charges in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

In England, the cost of a prepaid prescription payment certificate (PPC), which is valid for three months, will remain at £29.10, while the price of an annual PPC will be held at £104. The certificates save money for people need a lot of medication.

Further increases include:

  • The cost of hospital-supplied elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports.
  • A 2.5% rise in the cost of vouchers for glasses for children, people on low incomes and those with complex sight problems.
  • The dental charge payable for a basic "band 1" course of treatment - examination, diagnosis and advice, including X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further work if necessary - will rise 50p to £17.50.
  • Band 2 charges, covering fillings, root canal treatment and extractions, will rise by £1 to £48.
  • For band 3 work, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, the cost will increase by £5 to £209.
Drugs on prescription Prescription charges exist in England but not in other parts of the United Kingdom

The government says abolishing prescription charges in England would leave the NHS £450m short each year.

But the British Medical Association has said the current system is "unfair" and called for prescription charges to be scrapped in England.

Neal Patel, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, told the BBC he worried those with chronic conditions might neglect their health because they could not afford the charges in the current economic climate.

He said he would like to see the "unfairness" reformed.

'Reform needed'

"The prescription charge system at the moment seems to penalise people that have certain long-term conditions, but not others.

"It is perhaps a false economy to think if we don't take these medicines there is a reduced cost to that patient. But, longer term, they may end up in hospital and cost the NHS more."

A Department for Health spokesman said it was investing an additional £12.5bn in the NHS and had found an extra £4.5bn for patient services by "cutting back on bureaucracy".

He said the £450m funding from prescription charges was "valuable income" - equivalent to the salary costs of 18,000 nurses, or 15,000 midwives, or 3,500 hospital consultants.

"This income helps the NHS to maintain vital services for patients."

Those exempt from prescription charges include children under 16, income-related benefit claimants, pregnant women and people with serious long-term medical conditions. Contraception is free.

Free prescriptions were introduced in Wales in 2007, Northern Ireland in 2010 and Scotland in 2011.

 

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 317.

    It's about time the English had their own Parliament - we seem to be getting it in the neck from the Government all the time now, bearing the brunt of the cuts because Scotland and Waled are devolved.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 316.

    Stop whinging, it's bad for your health, and you know what that means.....a prescription.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 315.

    I agree though that it's utterly unfair for the rest of the UK to get free prescriptions while England has to pay for theirs. I'm not really sure how this is even justifiable.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 314.

    BMT@290. Then buy a season ticket at £104 and save £2,536.00 a year. Its not rocket science

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 313.

    @283 . Charlie Boden

    ''People should stop moaning about parking prices and prescription charges and look at the bigger picture''

    I have and found it to be very, very wanting.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 312.

    Why are people going to a doc just for asprin, parcetamol, these people deserve to pay presciptions for wasting Docs time, when all supermarkets & independant chemists sell a box for about 30p plus many other medicines can be cheaper 2. To say the deprived will be hit is nonsense when they can afford skye TV, electronic games, expensive trainers, holidays [in term time] all on tax payer, great

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 311.

    306 Doctor Lector
    Then grow a pair and DEMAND it for yourself from the Govt. instead of taking the 'dog in the manger' attitude...

    Pay attention, we already have it's have. It's called devolution.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 310.

    Another nail in the coffin of the working man/woman. The government says that if the prescription charge was abolished then there would be a short fall in the treasury of £450 million. How is it possible that the government can find £500,000 to give to the rebels of the Syria conflict and aid to rich countries, yet cannot help out its own people. I guess we are like sheep to the slaughter.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 309.

    The NHS has never been free – it is paid for by taxes. The rich should pay more tax because they receive more reward (often the size of their rewards are disgustingly unfair, e.g. bankers). By paying fixed sums for prescription charges, the poor pay a higher proportion of their wage than the rich and the evil Tories reward their rich paymasters yet again.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 308.

    it makes me sick !
    by the way do you think Cameron will let francis maud carry the can.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 307.

    At this rate they'll soon end up costing more than 'real' drugs like heroin,cocaine etc.Perhaps that's the answer;swap from pharmaceutical drugs to street alternatives.At least you wouldn't care anymore what the Government did.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 306.

    287.the6ftmoose
    8 Minutes ago
    Scotland is a subsidy junkie.....

    Wales is subsidy junkie....

    NI is a subsidy junkie....

    There is only one true subsidy junkie in the uk that we are All paying for, it's called London.

    _ _ _ _ _

    Then grow a pair and DEMAND it for yourself from the Govt. instead of taking the 'dog in the manger' attitude...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 305.

    Need to have a monthly prescription of Vit D/Calcium plus 3 or 4 more during the year due to infections from a lifelong kidney problem. Just got given 6 tablets (antibiotics) for the current infection, which probably cost the NHS pence, but I still pay the full price. I always ask if I can buy over the counter for any drugs I get prescribed, but it's not possible.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 304.

    Let me get this right, I am on CONTRIBUTION based ESA (cos I used to work) at a rate of £67.50 per week, but if I need a dental consult and a filling it will cost me £66 leaving me £1.50 to live on. Hope I do not need a presciption in the same week. Wish I had never bothered working.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 303.

    To 'slouching_towards_Bethlehem', re. your statement that you are 'bitterly aware that it was Labour who brought in prescription charges'. Please check your facts before making comments such as this, it is misinformation of this kind that influences perceptions of people. Prescription charges were introduced inJune 1952 by the Tories!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 302.

    This is the April Fools story, right?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 301.

    .DaMuttzNutz Please get your facs right, I pay full charges and I only work 20 hours a week, thats not full time. I am low income and have to pay for everything. Dont be fooled by this 10 percent of the population have to pay, its not the top end earners who are being screwed its low income single people

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 300.

    So prescription charges which obviously affect he sick are increased on the same day corporation tax is reduced for the governments rich friends and supporters. Are we really 'All in this together' somehow I doubt it.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 299.

    Doctors should always prescribe generics. If you can buy the drug over the counter do so if it's cheaper and perhaps instead of some people paying £7.65 everyone pays £2. I also have a feeling that drugs companies are soaking the NHS for all it's worth. The NHS buying power must be incredible but I get the feeling it's getting ripped off therefore the public is getting ripped off.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 298.

    Ask your chemist every time. In many cases there is a cheaper alternative available. If not the drug is likely still under patent and the £7.25 you are paying is probably a fraction of the real cost. Those requiring long term medication buy a season ticket which at £104 is cheap. The days of everything for free ended long ago.

 

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