NHS prescriptions are set to rise by 20p to £8.80 in April.
The 2.3% increase is below current inflation and will hit chiefly those who are prescribed medicines on a irregular or one-off basis.
The cost of “season ticket” prescription payment certificates – used by patients who have repeat or very regular need for drugs or treatments – has been frozen.
The three-month PPC will remain at £29.10 and the cost of an annual PPC will stay at £104.
PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debits payments, allowing anyone to obtain the prescriptions they need for £2 per week.
The NHS said recently it was cracking down on the exploitation of prescriptions highlighting the tens of millions it spends on dandruff treatments and mouth ulcer gels, for example.
It said thousands of operations could be funded if people used pharmacies to buy routine treatments rather than seeking an NHS prescription which often costs three or four times as much as over-the-counter remedies.
In a statement, the health department said: “In the 2015 Spending Review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020 to 2021 to fund frontline NHS services.
“Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings to secure the best value from NHS resources and primary care must play its part.”
“Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.”
The 2.3% increase from April 1 will also be felt in other NHS areas and the full breakdown is:
- Single charge: £8.80
- 3 month PPC (no change): £29.10
- 12 month PPC (no change): £104.00
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