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NHS prescription charges to rise

12 March 2014

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NHS prescription charge in England will increase by 20 pence from £7.85 to £8.05 for each quantity of a drug or appliance from 1 April 2014.

The government has also revealed that the single charge will increase by 20 pence to £8.25 next year. 

But for the next two years the cost of a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) will remain at £29.10 for a three month certificate. The cost of the annual certificate will remain at £104.

PPCs offer savings for those needing four or more items in the months or 13 or more items in one year.

In England, around 90% of prescription items are dispensed free. This includes exemptions from charging for those on low incomes, such as:

 – Those on specific benefits or through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

 – Those who are age exempt.

 – Those with certain medical conditions.

Government figures show that over 90% of prescription items are currently dispensed free.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “This government has made tough decisions to protect the NHS budget and increase it in real terms, but charges for some items remain an important source of revenue to support the delivery of high quality NHS services. This is particularly important given the increasing demands on the NHS, with spending on medicines alone almost doubling since 2000. 

“We want to ensure that, of those who pay, people with the greatest need are protected, such as those with long term conditions. As such, we have decided to freeze the costs of both prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) for the next two years.”