New NHS rules from May as British patients face making ‘unbearable decision’

By Staff 5 Min Read

Janet Morrison, chief executive of Community Pharmacy England said the added expense would be “bad news” for many patients.

In a new cost of living blow, the National Heath Service ( NHS ) prescrption rates will go up from next month.

UK residents already struggling to make ends meet will be faced with higher costs for medications as new regulations set out increased charges for NHS prescription charges in England. One expert has labelled the decision as “unbearable.” Janet Morrison, chief executive of Community Pharmacy England said the added expense would be “bad news” for many patients.

She said: “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.” Ms Morrison said that she would remain opposed to the charges. She went on to call it a “tax on the vulnerable.” Prescription charges in England will increase by around 3 per cent.

However prescriptions aren’t the only costs that will increase, the cost of fabric supports (such as surgical bras) and wigs is also increasing. Charges for prescriptions and prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) will increase by 2.59% (rounded to the nearest 5 pence) from 1 May 2024. Charges for wigs and fabric supports will increase by the same rate.

New prescriptions per each medicine or appliance will cost £9.90 which is a staggering increase of 25 pence. The 3-month PPC will cost £32.05 and the 12-month PPC will cost £114.50. The hormone replacement therapy (HRT) PPC will cost £19.80, with a higher increase of 50 pence. This is because the rate is set at twice the single prescription charge.

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.”

Share This Article
Leave a comment