‘Financially vulnerable’ need exemption from NHS plan to limit prescribing
Wed, 20 December 2017
NHS England has launched a consultation on plans to curb the prescribing of some medicines that can be bought over the counter. Commenting, Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities, said:
“Many people will have no problem paying for prescriptions that they can afford to buy over the counter, especially if that works out cheaper for them. The people who stand to lose out from these plans are those currently receiving free prescriptions because they cannot afford to buy treatments.
“We welcome NHS England’s decision to make people with long term conditions exempt from having to pay. That exemption needs to be extended to cover people who are financially vulnerable and would struggle to pay for treatments themselves.
“Often those with the greatest need have the quietest voice, but that does not mean they should bear the brunt of difficult rationing decisions.”
- 1,083.6 million prescription items were dispensed overall in 2015, and 89.7 per cent of them were dispensed free of charge: https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB20664
- A list of criteria for prescription charge exemptions is available on the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/Prescriptioncosts.aspx
- All prescriptions are dispensed free of charge in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.