Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions
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The cost of prescriptions in England is already a cause for concern for Britons who are struggling to pay for medication amid the cost of living crisis. A report has found that if NHS prescription charges rise inline with the cost of living, by 2035 they could cost £13.
This is a 40 percent rise compared to the current price of prescriptions – £9.35 per item.
Britons on benefits including Universal Credit and those with certain medical conditions may be able to get free NHS prescriptions, and the NHS BSA website explains that some items are “always free”.
NHS prescription charges were frozen this year, but at £9.35 per prescription the cost soon adds up.
It’s now more important than ever for people to be able to find savings that may be available to them
If Government proposals to raise the age that people get free prescriptions in line with state pension age goes ahead, thousands of over 60s in England will be faced with paying for prescriptions for six more years.
This is despite the fact that NHS prescriptions are free for everyone in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, no matter what their age.
The NHS website explains that “some prescribed items are always free”.
This includes contraceptives and medication given to hospital inpatients.
“Your prescriber can give you more information,” they added.
There are 15 groups who qualify for free prescriptions due to age, income, or medical exemption.
People can check the NHS website for more information and a list of those eligible.
It’s worth checking the NHS website’s online tool if people think they may qualify.
James O’Loan, pharmacist and CEO at Chemist4U said: “The cost of prescriptions, and medicines as a whole is definitely a cause for concern.”
However, a spokesperson for the DHSC said that just over 10 percent of the population have to pay for their prescriptions.
They said: “We recognise the pressures people are facing with the rising cost of living and we are taking action to support households, including freezing prescription charges for the first time in 12 years.
“Thanks to our extensive arrangements to help people afford NHS prescription charges, 89 percent of prescriptions in England are already provided free of charge.”
Alternatively, Britons can apply for NHS prescription prepayment certificates (PPC).
A PPC could save you money if you pay for your NHS prescriptions. The certificate covers all your NHS prescriptions for a set price. People will save money if they need more than three items in three months or 11 items in 12 months.
A PPC costs:
£30.25 for three months
£108.10 for 12 months
Britons can save more than £340 a year with a 12-month PPC.
As the cost of living crisis continues, any extra savings could be vital for families on low incomes.
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