Prescription charges in Scotland to fall to £3

Prescription charges in Scotland will fall to £3 in April if regulations to be laid out this week are approved.

The reduction in cost of prescriptions in Scotland has been well received in this economic climate
The reduction in cost of prescriptions in Scotland has been well received in this economic climate

Parliament will decide this week whether to push through the change from the current prescription charge of £4.

If the regulations are approved the cost of a four-month pre-payment certificate (PPC) will also drop from £13 to £10 and the cost of a one-year PPC from £38 to £28.

Public health minister Shona Robison said that the planned reduction was ‘great news' for patients.

‘Not only will it bring us nearer to removing a 'tax on ill health' that people needing medicines shouldn't have to face, it's in line with the founding principle of the NHS that it should be free at the point of delivery,' she said.

She added: ‘We strongly believe that this fully-budgeted policy is the right thing to do for the patients of Scotland.  And by leaving more money in people's pockets, it's an example of how the health service is playing its part in Scotland's economic recovery.'

Liberal Democrat health spokesman for Scotland Ross Finnie said, in the current economic climate, extending reduced or free prescriptions to all should be a priority.

Last month, Healthcare Republic exclusively revealed concerns that plans to scrap prescription charges in England for patients with long-term conditions may fall by the wayside in the build-up to the general election.

An Asthma UK spokesman warned that, if there were to be a May election, the government would need to introduce legislation by February in order to have time to put legislation through. Changes would otherwise be relegated to a manifesto promise by Labour and were unlikely to be supported by the Conservatives, he said.

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