Prescription charges will rise to nearly £10 next month as pharmacy bosses accuse the government of increasing ‘a tax on the vulnerable’

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • The cost of a single prescription will rise by 25 pence from £9.65 to £9.90 
  • An annual supply of HRT medication will rise from £111.60 to £114.50 annually

Prescription charges will rise to almost £10 from next month.

The cost of a single prescription will rise by 25 pence from £9.65 to £9.90 from May 1, officials have confirmed.

An annual supply of HRT medication for menopausal women, introduced a year ago to cut costs, will rise from £19.30 to £19.80.

Prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), for those who do not qualify for free medicines, will rise from £111.60 to £114.50 annually.

Last night, pharmacy leaders accused ministers of increasing ‘a tax on the vulnerable’.

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, said: ‘Yet again community pharmacies must be the bearers of bad news as the Government decides to raise the NHS prescription charge.

The cost of a single prescription will rise by 25 pence from £9.65 to £9.90 from May 1, officials have confirmed (stock)

‘As the cost of living continues to put strain on the most vulnerable in society, many patients will have to make unbearable decisions about which medicines they can afford to pay for.’

Approximately £600million is generated each year in revenue from prescription charges in England for the delivery of NHS services.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it had taken steps to help with the cost of prescriptions and almost 89 per cent of items in England were provided free of charge.

NHS prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are few pay exemptions for patients in England, including for those aged 16-18 and in full-time education or patients once they turn 60.

Pharmacy leaders accused ministers of increasing 'a tax on the vulnerable' (stock)

Pharmacy leaders accused ministers of increasing ‘a tax on the vulnerable’ (stock)

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:

‘Almost nine in ten items are available for free on the NHS in England and we provide a wide range of support to ensure everyone who needs a prescription can afford it.

‘Those on a low income, aged over 60 or with qualifying medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy and diabetes all qualify for exemptions, as do children and pregnant women.

‘Where charges are in place, it is important prices are regularly updated to ensure the NHS maintains a sustainable business model and can continue to deliver excellent patient care.’

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