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Home Industry News Prescription charge increases ‘below rate of inflation’

Prescription charge increases ‘below rate of inflation’

10th March 2008

The government has announced that increases in prescription charges are to remain below the rate of inflation.

It notes that the annual increase has now been held at or below the rate of inflation for ten successive years.

As of April 2008, the charge for a single prescription item will increase by 25 pence and will now cost £7.10

The Department of Health notes that in 2006, less than seven per cent of prescription items dispenses in England were charged at the point of dispensing, while five per cent of items were given to those who had purchased prepayment certificates.

Dawn Primarolo, public health minister, said: “In England, 88 per cent of prescription items are free of charge thanks to our extensive exemption arrangements.

“Prescription charges are expected to raise 435 million pounds in the next financial year – that’s valuable income that can be ploughed back into the NHS.”

The government notes that optical vouchers for people on low incomes, children and those with complex lenses will increase by an average of 2.7 per cent from April.

Last month, Citizens Advice called on the Department of Health to review prescription charging, claiming that they are too expensive for some lower-income people.

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