NHS prescription fee rise to £7.65 comes in to effect
Published: 1st Apr 2012 02:41:41
An increase in NHS prescription charges in England of 25p to £7.65 has come into effect.
Health Minister Simon Burns outlined the changes earlier this year, and the government says exemptions mean 90% of prescription items are dispensed free.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society campaigned for a freeze and says the rises are completely unacceptable.
Dental treatment costs will also rise. There are no prescription charges in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The cost of a prescription payment certificate (PPC), which is valid for three months, will remain at £29.10 and the price of an annual PPC will be held at £104.
Charges for elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports supplied by hospitals will be increased.
The value of vouchers for glasses for children, people on low incomes and those with complex sight problems will increase by 2.5% overall.
The dental charge payable for a basic "band 1" course of treatment - examination, diagnosis and advice, including X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further work if necessary - will rise 50p to £17.50.
Band 2 charges, covering fillings, root canal treatment and extractions, will rise by £1 to £48.
For band 3 work, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, the cost will increase by £5 to £209.
The British Medical Association has said the current system is "unfair" and called for prescription charges to be scrapped in England.
Those exempt from prescription charges include children under 16, income-related benefit claimants, pregnant women and people with serious long-term medical conditions. Contraception is free.
Free prescriptions were introduced in Wales in 2007, Northern Ireland in 2010 and Scotland in 2011.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. NHS prescription fee rise to £7.65 comes in to effect [Online] (Updated 1st Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1419956/NHS-prescription-fee-rise-to-7-65-comes-in-to-effect [Accessed 9th Mar 2014]
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