Relentless rise in prescription charges harms patients, says RPS in England

Today the Government announced a rise in prescription charges to £9 per item from 1st April.  Commenting on the rise, Chair of the RPS English Board Sandra Gidley said:

“The consequences of the relentless rise in prescription charges are well-known. If you can’t afford your medicines, you become more ill, which leads to poor health and expensive and unnecessary hospital admissions.

“Every day pharmacists are asked by patients who are unable to afford all the items their prescription which ones they could 'do without'.  Patients shouldn't have to make choices which involve rationing their medicines. No-one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need.  

“Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It would be much simpler to have free prescriptions in England too, because then no-one would have to worry about payment decisions affecting their health.”