NHS prescriptions will rise by 30p to £9.65 from next month

BATH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12TH: Medicines and prescriptions awaiting collection are seen at an independent pharmacy on February 12th, 2016 in Bath, England. One in four High Street pharmacies could close as the government cuts 170 million from prescription processing fees paid to them. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

NHS prescription fees set to rise by 30p next month (Picture: Getty)

The cost of an NHS prescription is set to rise to £9.65 next month, the government has confirmed.

From April 1, patients in England will have to pay an additional 30p to collect their medicines from a pharmacy.

England is the only country in the UK that still charges prescriptions after Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland eliminated charges over a decade ago.

Prescription fees were frozen at £9.35 last April to ease pressure on the cost of living, in the first time prices had not risen in 12 years.

Pharmacist delivering medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic. She sorts recipes.

England is the only country in the UK still charging prescription fees (Picture: Getty)

But now the Department of Health and Welfare has announced that prices will rise again by 3.21 percent in line with inflation.

Also, the cost of prepayment slips, prescription wigs, and surgical bras will increase in line with the rate of inflation.

The recently launched HRT PPC – which gives women a sizeable discount on their annual HRT cost – will also rise from £18.70 to £19.30.

There are some exceptions for patients in England, including patients aged 16-18 who are in full-time education or patients who are 60 years old.

Most contraceptives also remain free.

Patients who are on welfare, income-tested unemployment assistance, or income-tested Employment and Assistance Allowance are also still eligible for free prescriptions.

Other beneficiaries of free prescriptions include pregnant women and women who have had a child within 12 months, people with physical disabilities, and people on war pensions who have a valid certificate.

The news follows a survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) last month which showed that half of pharmacists have noticed an increase in patients asking which prescription they are forgoing over the past six months due to the cost of living crisis can .

One in two pharmacists said they’ve also seen an increase in people not picking up their prescription.

Meanwhile, two-thirds reported an increase in requests for cheaper, over-the-counter substitutes for their prescribed drugs.

The last time prescription fees rose was in 2021 when they rose by 20p from £9.15 to £9.35.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/10/nhs-prescriptions-will-rise-by-30p-to-9-65-from-next-month-18419166/ NHS prescriptions will rise by 30p to £9.65 from next month

Justin Scacco

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