FROM April, the cost of NHS prescriptions in England are set to rise “in line with inflation,” after the government announced the decision in February 2018.
Here’s all you need to know about how the changes will affect you…
PA:Press Association Prescriptions on the NHS will be increasing by 20p come April 1
How much will prescriptions increase by?
Prescriptions will increase by 20p to £8.80 from £8.60, a 2.3 per cent rise.
By increasing prescription charges the Government expects income from medicines to rise in line with inflation, as the NHS are expected to make savings across the board under a five year plan.
A 2017 report found that Brit’s reliance on repeat prescriptions are costing the NHS £8billion a year.
But there are some medications that the increase will not affect.
Prescribed contraceptives, medication prescribed at a hospital or walk-in centre, medicines personally administered by a GP and medicines for sexually transmitted infections will remain free.
Certain age groups and categories also qualify for free prescriptions.
If you are over the age of 60, aged 16-18 and in full-time education, pregnant (if you hold a Maternity Exemption certificate), or on income support you can get free prescriptions.
Charges for wigs and material supports are also set to increase.
Getty – Contributor Despite the changes, certain medications will remain free, such as contraception and medication administered by a GP
Products no longer available on prescription
From May 31, some ‘over the counter’ products will no longer be able on the NHS.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Across the NHS our aim is to: ‘Think like a patient, act like a taxpayer’.
“The NHS is probably the most efficient health service in the world, but we’re determined to keep pushing further.
“Every pound we save from cutting waste is another pound we can then invest in better A&E care, new cancer treatments and much better mental health services.”
Vulnerable patients will also continue to receive prescriptions for over-the-counter items, provided they are proven to be effective.
Acute sore throat Infrequent cold sores of the lip Conjunctivitis Coughs and colds and nasal congestion Cradle Cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants) Haemorrhoids Infant colic Mild cystitis Mild irritant dermatitis Dandruff Diarrhoea (adults) Dry eyes/sore (tired) eyes Earwax Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis) Head lice Indigestion and heartburn Infrequent constipation Infrequent migraine Insect bites and sting Mild acne Mild dry skin Sunburn Sun protection Mild to moderate hay fever/seasonal rhinitis Minor burns and scalds Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/fever. (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain) Mouth ulcers Nappy rash Oral thrush Prevention of dental caries Ringworm/athletes foot Teething/mild toothache Threadworms Travel sickness Warts and verruca
Will prescription payment certificates be affected?
The cost of prescription payment certificates have been frozen, with the Government saying the freeze would ensure “those with the greatest need are protected.”
They currently cost £104 for a year or £29.10 for a three monthly card.