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Prescription charge jumps 20p to £8.40

Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt announced the change last week alongside a freeze in pre-paid prescription certificates

The prescription charge in England will jump 20p to £8.40 on April 1.

The charge increased 15p last year, and has risen steadily since the turn of the decade (see graph below).

Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt announced the latest rise on Friday (March 11).

The government will freeze the cost of pre-paid prescription certificates, which cover all prescription charges for either three months or a year, Mr Burt said.

A three-month certificate costs £29.10, while a 12-month version is £104.

England is the only country in the UK that charges for prescriptions.

Charge hits patients with long-term conditions

The Prescription Charges Coalition, which includes the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), said the continued rise of prescription charges will hit patients with long-term conditions.

"We are pressing for people with long-term conditions in England to be exempt from prescription charges. They are disproportionately affected [by the charge] due to their need for ongoing medication," it said.

Patients with certain conditions, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, are exempt from charge, but the coalition called on the government to change this "outdated, illogical and unfair" list .

Although it welcomed the freeze in pre-paid prescription prices, the cost of these certificates is still too high for some, it said.

How has the prescription charge in England changed in the last 10 years?


Should England abolish the prescription charge?

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