NHS prescription charge to rise to £9.15 - MSE News

The NHS prescription charge in England is set to increase by 15p to £9.15 from April...

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'NHS prescription charge to rise to £9.15'
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  • One-EyeOne-Eye Forumite
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    Only 10% of Prescriptions are paid for.

    This is not surprising with prescriptions being free for everyone in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland, and in England for over 60s, children in full time education, pregnant women, people on certain benefits or with certain ongoing conditions. The cost to make all prescriptions free in England is estimated to be about £650m per year. There is evidence that the prescription charge is causing some people not to collect the items they have been prescribed to save on the cost - why else are prescriptions free for certain conditions like diabetes and for pregnant women?
    Is it time for prescriptions to be free for everyone?
  • uknickuknick Forumite
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    Good points.  I've never understood why diabetes sufferers get free prescriptions.  I've tried finding the answer on the web, but in vain.  If they're free for diabetes, why not for those that have asthma and other life affecting illnesses?  Some years ago, Gordon Brown (remember him) was going to set up a review of the situation but never got around to it before losing the 2010 election.

    So, if there are any diabetes sufferers reading this, why do you get them for free? 
  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
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    uknick said:
    So, if there are any diabetes sufferers reading this, why do you get them for free? 
    I don't have diabetes and don't know the answer to that, but I'd like to add that the other (IMHO) bizarre thing is that if you do suffer from a condition which entitles you to free prescriptions then ALL your prescriptions are free - not just those for medicines relating to that condition. 

  • lonewaiterlonewaiter Forumite
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    If you are not exempt, and find yourself realising you even might choose to pay for a prepayment certificate, take note of this:
    If you’ve applied for a PPC and pay prescription charges while waiting for it to arrive, you can get a refund as long as:
    • you get an NHS refund form (FP57) when you pay, as you can’t get one later
    • the PPC covers the date you paid for your prescription

    PPCs can be backdated by up to one month. You must claim your refund within 3 months of paying.

    The refund form (FP57) tells you what to do.

    If you do NOT get an FP57, you will never be able to get the payment back. So ask for an FP57 - you can always change your mind.
  • lonewaiterlonewaiter Forumite
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    uknick said:
    So, if there are any diabetes sufferers reading this, why do you get them for free? 
    I don't have diabetes and don't know the answer to that, but I'd like to add that the other (IMHO) bizarre thing is that if you do suffer from a condition which entitles you to free prescriptions then ALL your prescriptions are free - not just those for medicines relating to that condition. 

    Wrong way round, in my opinion. Not why do diabetes sufferers get exemption, rather why do asthma suffers not get exemption.
    Many people who suffer from a condition which makes them exempt do actually suffer multiple issues because of the primary exempting condition. Would be somewhat odd to get, say, insulin exempt but have to pay for every other medicine or go through an argument as to whether or not the other medicine was caused by the diabetes.
    Also, do remember that exemption would often only save a maxmimum of £105.90 - so long as the person was able to get the money together to buy a prepayment certificate. Yes, I am aware, that is a lot of money to some people. But there are quite a few who claim to be paying a vast amount every month on prescriptions for whom it would be a massive saving.


  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
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    Fortunately, I've reached the age where I no longer have to worry about paying for prescriptions, unless/until they change the rules.
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    I suspect which conditions are on the list for free prescriptions will have a lot to do with what drugs were available when the list was established in 1968.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • edited 8 March 2020 at 10:55PM
    KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    edited 8 March 2020 at 10:55PM
    The medical exemption list is definitely antiquated and decades over due for review. Many other conditions need to be added.

    The cost of reviewing what medicines are and aren't allowed free per condition (ie diabetes) would be vast and dwarf the cost of being free across the board IMO.

    A PPC needn't break the bank, you can pay £10.40 per month over 10 months, £2 a week basically.
  • uknickuknick Forumite
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    KxMx said:
    The medical exemption list is definitely antiquated and decades over due for review. Many other conditions need to be added.

    The cost of reviewing what medicines are and aren't allowed free per condition (ie diabetes) would be vast and dwarf the cost of being free across the board IMO.

    A PPC needn't break the bank, you can pay £10.40 per month over 10 months, £2 a week basically.
    Thanks for that.  I'm going to assume when it was put together Diabetes Type 1 was the reason and Type 2 hardly existed.  In the same way, asthma was not a common problem, hence why it wasn't on the list.  When I was growing up in the 70s, I can't recall more than a couple of people having asthma with inhalers, and nobody had Type 2.   
  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
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    Over the past 20-30 years, more than one health minister has incorrectly suggested that asthma is already covered as a medical exemption,only to be rapidly corrected by their civil servants,
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