Should prescription charges be scraped?
Experts deem fees “illogical and unfair”
The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin has recommended that NHS prescription charges be dropped, as the system is “outdated” with England the only country of the UK to retain the charge.
Results for 2012 show that only 10% of prescriptions in the community attracted fees. Despite this, 80% of adult patients under the age of 60 had to pay for prescriptions, with some stumping up £8.05 for off-patient medicines that may cost little more than a pound.
The report also claimed the system has too many “illogical and unfair” exemptions.
Unnecessary prescription fees
Editor Dr James Cave said “As a cost saving measure, many hospitals discourage doctors in outpatient departments from prescribing medicines to patients sitting in front of them in their clinic. Instead they are asked to write to the patient’s GP recommending the prescription. Prescription charges are clearly outdated and iniquitous, and we believe it is time that politicians showed their commitment to a patient-centred NHS and abolish prescription charges in England.”