Benefit claimants loss of free prescriptions 'incredibly disappointing'

Responding to the news in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement today that when claimants lose their benefits they will also lose their right to free prescriptions, Chair of RPS in England Ms Tase Oputu said:

“This is an incredibly disappointing move. I am deeply concerned about the health inequalities that already exist around prescription charges in England and access to medicines.

“No-one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need, regardless of their employment status.

“Pharmacy teams wants to focus on looking after patients, not policing prescription charges. This move puts them in a very difficult position of knowing that someone who needs life-saving medicines may not be able to get them.

“Prescription medicines are vital to our health service and improving our population’s health. Prescription charges should not be used to punish some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

“This short-sighted move will lead to worse health outcomes for patients, more hospital admissions, and additional pressure on the health service.

“That’s why we will continue to support the call for prescription charges in England to be abolished altogether.”


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