Patients who are suffering from diseases that require a long-term treatment may discover that the price for the medicine they use has doubled.
This major change happened because the authorities who are responsible for releasing prescriptions are attempting to bring down the NHS bills for the amount of unused pills which are discarded. The sum for all these discarded pills reaches a staggering £300 million per year.
An example represents the case where a patient found out that her prescription consisted of only 28 pills. Her actual prescription was for 56 pills. This shows that the authorities really made a cut of 50%. April 1st was the day in which all prescriptions suffered a 20p price increase.
The woman shared her story on BBC Radio 4. She said:
This means that the prescription charge has gone up in excess of 100 per cent, which I think is outrageous.
Dr. Mike Smith, who often speaks for the Parents Association mentioned the fact that some patients will really feel the adverse effects of this rise in prescription prices. For example, patients who suffer from high blood pressure and need several prescriptions can and will feel the pressure rising in their pockets. Dr. Smith said:
I know from pharmacists that quite often the patient will say: ‘I will do without that one and that one this month, because I can’t afford it.
The Welsh, the Irish who live in Northern Ireland and the Scots benefit from free prescriptions. Even 9 out of 10 prescriptions that are released in England are free of charge. People under the age of 16 and over the age of 59 do not pay for prescriptions, nor do pregnant wives, handicapped people, or persons who are still studying full time.
People can sign for a Prescriptions Prepayment Certificate which at only £104 can significantly reduce the costs of prescriptions. This is the only solution given by the Department of Health.