NHS prescription fee rise2nd April 2012
NHS prescription charges have increased by 25p to £7.65, although the government has said that exemptions mean nine in 10 items are free of charge.
However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has called for the charges to be frozen and deemed the increases to be "unfair".
Neal Patel, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, spoke to the BBC and said he was concerned that people who had chronic illnesses might suffer because they were unable to pay more for their prescriptions.
"The prescription charge system at the moment seems to penalise people that have certain long-term conditions, but not others," he explained.
"It is perhaps a false economy to think if we don't take these medicines there is a reduced cost to that patient. But, longer term, they may end up in hospital and cost the NHS more."
The cost of dental care in England will also increase, the government confirmed.
Prepaid prescription certificates (PPCs) will stay at the same price of £29.10, as will a yearly PPC certificate, which will remain at £104.
Patients in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales do not have to pay for their prescriptions.
A Department for Health spokesman said the NHS would receive another £12.5 billion in investment and had discovered another £4.5 billion for patient care by "cutting back on bureaucracy".
He added that the NHS received a "valuable income" from the £450 million they recieved in prescription charges.
He said: "This income helps the NHS to maintain vital services for patients."
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Title: NHS prescription fee rise
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 21557
Date Added: 2nd Apr 2012