Prescription prices set to rise again

25 February 2019 08:48

The price increase will take effect from April 1

The price increase will take effect from April 1

The price of a prescription in England is set to rise again, the Government has announced, in a move some campaigners have called disappointing.

An extra 20p is set to be added to the current price of prescriptions across England from April 1, bringing the cost up from £8.80 to £9.

The cost of prescription prepayment certificates, known as PPCs, will stay the same.

'Essential medication'

Lloyd Tingley, senior policy and campaigns adviser at Parkinson's UK and chairman of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said: "It is extremely disappointing that yet again the Government plans to increase prescription charges.

"Since 2010, the prescription charge has risen by 26% compared to a rise in average earnings of 16% over the same period.

"Working-age people with long-term conditions simply can't sustain this."

He added: "We already know that one in three people with long-term conditions do not collect all their essential medication due to cost, which inevitably leads to ill-health.

"The planned price hike is a complete contradiction to the new NHS long-term plan to prevent exactly that.

"While it is positive that the cost of the pre-payment certificate has been frozen, this is still a large upfront cost for individuals and families who the Government should be helping - not punishing - for having a long-term condition."

'Financial barrier'

Sandra Gidley, chairwoman of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's English Board, said: "Every day pharmacists are asked by patients who are unable to afford all the items on their prescription which ones they could do without.

"In a civilised society, we should be making sure this doesn't happen. No-one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need.

"Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It would be much simpler to have free prescriptions in England too, because then no-one would have to worry about payment decisions affecting their health."

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