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Home Industry News Prescription charges to rise in England

Prescription charges to rise in England

7th March 2011

The cost of a single prescription item will rise by 20p in England, the Department of Health has announced.

It was confirmed that England would not be following Scotland's lead in moving to abolish prescription charges, due to concerns over cost.

The confirmation came two days after the Scottish parliament's health committee paved the way for prescription fees north of the border to be scrapped.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said the decision to make prescriptions free for all patients was based on the premise that NHS healthcare should be "free at the point of delivery and based on clinical need, not the ability to pay".

But the Department of Health said it would cost too much to make all prescriptions free in England, with a spokeswoman claimed that abolishing the charges would leave the NHS with a funding gap in excess of 450 million pounds per year.

The British Medical Association (BMA) expressed concern over the move, which it said "further exaggerates the absurd postcode lottery that exists in the UK".ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800445924-ADNFCR

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