THE PRICE of potentially life-saving prescriptions is set to rise again on Monday, to £9.
The move could put millions of lives at risk, with people left unable to afford the drugs they rely on to manage long-term, and potentially fatal conditions, charities have warned.
Getty – Contributor The cost of NHS prescriptions is set to rise again to £9 on Monday, prompting charities to warn it could put millions of lives at risk
Last year, the Government hiked prescriptions up from £8.60 to £8.80, and as of April 1, they’re set to increase by a further 20p.’Patients simply can’t afford it’
A charity has warned that a third of people already struggle to pick up essential medication due to cost, and that if the price rises further, more people will be at risk.
“It is extremely disappointing that yet again, the Government plans to increase prescription charges,” said Lloyd Tingley, at Parkinson’s UK, and Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition.
“Since 2010 the prescription charge has risen by 26 per cent compared to a rise in average earnings of 16 per cent over the same period.
“Working age people with long term conditions simply can’t sustain this.”
He told The Sun that the planned price hike is a “complete contradiction” to the new NHS Long-Term Plan which aims to prevent chronic ill health.
“While it is positive that the cost of the Pre-Payment Certificate has been frozen, this is still a large upfront cost for individuals and families who the Government should be helping, not punishing, for having a long-term condition.”
However, hundreds of thousands of patients may save money if they get a “prescription season ticket”, which covers the cost of all prescriptions for a certain period.
What other charges are changing?The NHS says that the charge changes are a result of having to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings.
In order to protect the most at risk, they’ve frozen the cost of prescription prepayment certificates for another year, while charges for wigs and fabric supports are set to be increased in line with inflation.
Surgical bras will increase from £28.85 to £29.50
Abdominal or spinal supports will increase from £43.60 to £44.55
Stock-size modacrylic (ie, synthetic) wigs will increase from £71.25 to £72.80
Partial human hair wigs will increase from £188.70 to £192.85
Full bespoke human hair wigs will increase from £275.95 to £282
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It’ll be frozen at £29.10 for three months of £104 for a year.
Charges only apply to patients in England, while prescriptions continue to be free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
When NHS chiefs announced their move last year, they said that the rise was “in line with inflation”.
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