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prescription exemption577x362March 16 2015

The Department of Health is increasing the prescription fee by 15p per item from April 1, but pre-payment certificate charges will not change.

The new fee structure means that each item will be £8.20, while the three-month pre-payment certificate price remains at £29.10 and the annual certificate will cost £104. The DoH points out that 90% of prescription items in England are already provided free of charge.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe commented: “The prescription charge is a tax on the sick and as all pharmacies will know, many people who have to pay the charges find it extremely difficult to do so. We understand that all public services are having to tighten their belts and so the charge is viewed as a regrettable evil, but at a time when many people are experiencing financial pressures themselves, the increase announced today is unwelcome.”

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, added: “Pharmacy Voice believes that by increasing prescription costs the Government is yet again missing the point; the charge should not be there in the first place. Pharmacy Voice would like to see the whole system overhauled and do away with prescription charges altogether.

“Prescription fees can deter patients from taking prescribed medicines, which may prevent them from getting the right care, resulting in higher healthcare costs further down the line. Collecting the fees also adds to a pharmacist’s workload without benefiting patient care.”

PSNC will be sending out copies of the 2015 Prescription Charge Card to pharmacies later this month with the March edition of Community Pharmacy News (CPN).

Links:

DoH announcement    

Full list of fees (via Hansard)   

PSNC comment        

Pharmacy Voice comment    

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