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Prescription certificates in Scotland soar since charge cuts

29 January 2009

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Since Scotland cut its prescription charges the number of prepaid certificates bought in the country has soared, new data have revealed.

According to the figures, four-month prepay certificates have now doubled and 12-month certificates have more than doubled.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the figures show that cutting the cost of prescriptions was helping people with long-term conditions and hailed the results.

The move is part of the Scottish Government’s plan to phase out all prescription charges by 2011. A single item currently costs £5.

The first area to be affected by the changes was certificates, with discounts being given to people with long-term prescriptions.

Since 2007, the price of four-month and 12-month certificates has more than halved – from £35.85 to £17 and £98.70 to £48 respectively.

In the six months to September, 148,123 four-month certificates were bought, compared with 74,054 in the same period in 2007. The number of 12-month certificates increased from 21,028 to 48,673.

The total number of prescription items dispensed to those not exempt from charges was also up, from 4.77 million to 4.93 million.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Scottish Government