Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category

Charities call on PM to scrap prescription charges

January 25, 2010

In a letter to the prime minister seen by Healthcare Republic, the charities’ chief executives called on the prime minister to implement his promise of free prescriptions as soon as possible.

Prescription charges are a deeply unfair burden on people with long-term conditions — those who need medicines the most for day-to-day quality of life’, they said.

Patients should not be prevented by an NHS charge from accessing treatment to improve their quality of life.’

Writing in the letter as the Prescription Charges Coalition, the charities said they hoped that the government would be able to find a way to implement this policy as soon as possible.

The letter has been signed by representatives of the following charities: Androgen Insensitivity Support Group, Arthritis Care, Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Asthma UK, Behcets Syndrome Society, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Disability Alliance, Klinefelter’s Syndrome Association, Mind, MS Society, National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease , National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Parkinson’s Disease Society, Pernicious Anaemia Society, Rethink, Skin Care Campaign, Stroke Association and Terence Higgins Trust.

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NHS prescription review postponed until autumn

June 17, 2009

From the Health Service Journal

The health minister has said a delayed review into the costs of prescriptions will be published in the autumn.

It is expected that the review headed by Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, will include a revised list of conditions exempt from payment following on from charges for cancer patients that were abolished in England in April.

At a cost of more than £150,000 the review has covered “deliberative research, stakeholder workshops and meetings”, but “further work to ensure that proposals can be implemented smoothly and efficiently” has delayed its publication from the original summer due date.


Despite the existing costs minister Mike O’Brien said more spending was likely as Professor Gilmore completed the review.

The government has faced criticism for increasing the price of prescriptions up to £7.20 in April despite calls from the British Medical Association to follow examples set in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and abolish charges altogether.

2008 NHS Drug savings virtually cover cost of making prescription charges free for everybody

May 13, 2009

In the last year the NHS in England has saved nearly £394 million through GP’s prescribing generic drugs for common conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gastric problems. £278 million of that was saved on anti-cholesterol Statin drugs alone.

This saving in one year virtually covers the cost of providing free prescription charges for patients in England, the only country in the UK which is not ending prescription charges. It’s a reminder that abolition of prescription charges is easily affordable, and only the dogmatism of the government stands in the way.