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NHS prescription charges in England to be frozen


NHS prescription charges in England are to be frozen for the first time in 12 years, the government has confirmed.

Single prescription charges, which the Department of Health said would normally rise "in line with inflation", will remain at £9.35 until next year.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said freezing the costs would "put money back in people's pockets".

Faith Angwet, a single mother of two, said she had to choose between paying for prescriptions to treat for her high blood pressure, or using that money to feed her children.

She said the price freeze "won't go far" because "it's not necessarily the outgoings affecting me, everything is going up in price and I'm not able to afford everything I use to be, including my prescription".

Claire Anderson, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said people who do not qualify for free prescriptions because of their income, age, or medication type, often had to make decisions about which medicines they need.

"Those medicines are prescribed for a reason because that patient needs that treatment," she told the BBC.

And Laura Cockram, chairwoman of the Prescription Charges Coalition, who welcomed the freeze, said the government should review the list of those who qualified for free prescriptions.

She said the prescription exemption charge list was put together more than 50 years ago, when conditions like HIV "didn't even exist" and at a time there "weren't life saving treatments for things like asthma, Parkinson's and MS".

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Source: BBC News, 16 May 2022

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