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Prescription charge to increase by 20p to £8.80

DH: Prescription charges will rise broadly in line with inflation
DH: Prescription charges will rise broadly in line with inflation

The prescription charge in England will jump from £8.60 to £8.80 on April 1, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has confirmed.

The cost of pre-paid prescription certificates (PPC) will remain frozen for another year, health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy confirmed on Wednesday (February 21).

The three-month PPC will remain at £29.10, while an annual PPC will stay at £104.

“Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation,” Lord O’Shaughnessy said in a statement.

Patients with certain medical conditions – including cancer, epilepsy and diabetes – as well as pregnant women, new mothers, children under 16, anyone over 60, and those on a low income, will remain exempt from prescription charges.

Prescription charges have increased by 20p instalments for the last two years, following a 15p rise in 2015.

The Northern Irish government launched a consultation in December to seek views on whether to reintroduce prescription charges to help “balance the budget”.

Should England abolish the prescription charge?

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

In Ireland most people (including over 65s, unemployed, etc.) pay €2 per item, up to a maximum of €20 per family per month. People suffering from long term illnesses (epilepsy, diabetes, etc.) get the medications they need for their condition free of charge - they have to pay for other items such as statins, antibiotics, etc. I believe this is a fairer system and seems to lead to less waste. I don't think it's fair to expect taxpayers who fund the system to shell out 8.80 for the occasional antibiotic, while other layabouts won't put their hand in their pocket to pay for a box of paracetamol when they know they can get it free on Rx.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Although personally, I still think a universal prescription charge of 80p would be unequivocally a fairer system, less costly to administrate, and would result in greater income from prescriptions overall for the NHS based on the latest HSCIC data.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"an annual PPC will stay at £104"

If anyone is having regular 1 item per month, then the yearly PPC works out £8.80 cheaper/ year !!!!

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Even better, £10.40 cheaper if we're talking about thirteen 28 day cycles.

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