Prescription charges rise beyond £7

The basic prescription charge in England is set to rise as Scotland prepares to follow the lead of Wales by doing away with the charges.

The basic fee for a prescription will rise 25p to £7.10 from 1 April, the DoH has announced. The rise will see the NHS earn a total of £435 million from prescriptions in the next financial year according to public health minister Dawn Primarolo, although 88 per cent of prescription items are dispensed for free under exemption arrangements.

Ms Primarolo said that in 2006, less than 7 per cent of prescription items dispensed in the community in England were charged to patients at the point of dispensing, with a further 5 per cent of items dispensed to patients who had brought prepayment certificates.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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