The cost of a single prescription item is going up by 15p on 1 April to £8.20, the Government has announced.
Although the rise is five pence less than was initially planned, the single-item prescription charge will now be 55p higher than it was two years ago, after consecutive 20p increases took effect in both April 2013 and April 2014.
The Government said that the charges were ‘an important source of revenue’ and the rises were necessary to keep up with the rising cost of spending on medicine in the NHS.
However, it comes as a Pulse survey carried out last November showed that 40% of GPs think prescription charges adversely impact on patient care.
As of April the cost will go up from £8.05 to £8.20 for each medicine or appliance dispensed and that there would also be rises in the cost of wigs and fabric supports by 1.6%, the Department of Health said in a written statement.
The charge for prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) will remain frozen, with the three-month certificate remaining at £29.10 and the annual certificate kept at £104.
The statement, from health minister Lord Howe, said: ‘Health charges remain an important source of revenue to support the delivery of high quality NHS services. This is particularly important given the increasing demands on the NHS, with spending on medicines alone doubling since 2000. It is therefore crucial that these charges increase to keep up with rising costs.’
The new pescription charges
- Single item £8.20 (up from £8.05)
- Three-month PPC (no change) £29.10
- 12-month PPC (no change) £104.00
Source: Department of Health