NHS prescriptions could hit £13 by 2035 including for over 60s
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The cost of prescriptions is already a cause for concern for Britons who are struggling to pay for medication amidst rising energy and food costs. If NHS prescriptions continue to rise in line with the cost of living, it could mean people having to make difficult choices. Furthermore, the Government is still consulting on proposals to raise the age at which people receive free prescriptions to 66 from the current age of 60.
NHS prescription charges were frozen this year, but at £9.35 per prescription the cost soon adds up.
A new report has found that if NHS prescription charges rise inline with the cost of living, by 2035 they could cost £13.
Furthermore, if Government proposals to raise the age that people get free prescriptions inline with state pension age get the green light, thousands of over 60s in England will be faced with this shocking charge too.
This is despite the fact that NHS prescriptions are free for everyone in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, no matter what their age.
James O’Loan, pharmacist and CEO at Chemist4U said: “The cost of prescriptions, and medicines as a whole is definitely a cause for concern.”
However, a spokesperson for the DHSC said that just over 10 percent of the population have to pay for their prescriptions.
They said: “We recognise the pressures people are facing with the rising cost of living and we are taking action to support households, including freezing prescription charges for the first time in 12 years.
“Thanks to our extensive arrangements to help people afford NHS prescription charges, 89 percent of prescriptions in England are already provided free of charge.”
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Meanwhile, people who suffer from certain health conditions should automatically be sent a medical exemption certificate through the post.
However, it’s worth checking the NHS website’s online tool if people think they may qualify.
People on certain benefits may also qualify for free NHS prescriptions depending on their circumstances.
Which 15 groups of people qualify for free NHS prescriptions?
- Under 16s
- Aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education
- Pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
- Registered disabled and are unable to go out
- Have a war pension exemption certificate
- An NHS inpatient
- In receipt of Income Support
- In receipt of income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- In receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- In receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- In receipt of Universal Credit and your earnings during your last assessment period were £435 or less, or £935 or less if your UC includes an element for a child or you have limited capability for work
- The owner of a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
- In receipt of a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2).
- People with certain illnesses including cancer and diabetes
- People aged 60 or over.
A Pre Payment Certificate (PPC)) could help those who aren’t entitled to free prescriptions save money.
A PPC enables people to purchase as many NHS prescriptions as they need throughout the year for £108.10.
Britons who rely on two prescriptions a month could save over £100.
To find out more about PPC people should go to the NHS website.
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