Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


Government reportedly ditches script fee change proposals for over 60s

The government has allegedly decided to scrap proposals to raise the upper age exemption for free prescriptions to 66, according to reports in the i newspaper.

Citing an unnamed Department of Health and Social Care (DH) source, the paper reported today (March 16) that the government would not “go ahead” with plans to make those aged between 60 and 65 pay for their NHS prescriptions.

It follows a public and political backlash against the reform, which was first mooted in 2021 in a government consultation.

The government has repeatedly said that it has not yet come to a decision on the proposals, which would only affect patients in England.

And the DH did not confirm the reports.

A spokesperson told C+D that the conclusions of the consultation would be “published in due course”.

Read more: Script fee changes for over 60s would ‘break trust’, pharmacist MP warns

“The upper age exemption for prescriptions remains at 60 years old,” they said.

They continued: “Almost 89% of prescription items in England are already provided free of charge and pre-payment certificates (PPCs) can be used to cap costs at just over £2 a week for regular prescriptions.”

It comes as politicians last week (March 6) debated a petition calling for the continuation of free prescriptions for those aged over 60, which garnered more than 46,000 signatures.

The debate did not end with a vote to decide on whether to maintain free NHS prescriptions for the over-60s.

The proposals were stringently opposed by numerous MPs during the debate, including Labour MP and pharmacist Taiwo Owatemi, who warned increases to the prescription charge exemption age limit would “break [the] trust” of older people.

And the DH last week announced prescription charges in England were set to rise by 30p to £9.65 per item from April.

Read more: DH to hike prescription charges by 30p from next month

Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) English Pharmacy Board Thorrun Govind told C+D that the news was "a kick in the teeth" given there are reports of patients who are already unable to afford their prescriptions.

Related Content


Pharmacy Manager

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts