Prescription Charges will rise again in England - to £9 per item

22 February 2019

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The Department of Health and Social Care have announced that the cost of NHS prescriptions in England is set to rise again, above inflation.

From 1 April 2019, prescriptions in England will rise by an extra 20p, increasing the current price per item from £8.80 to £9.00. 

Since 2010, the prescription charge has risen by 26% compared to a rise in people’s average earnings of only 16% over the same period. This means the cost of the essential medication is getting more expensive. Prescription charges in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been scrapped for many years.

The only positive news is that the Government has taken the welcome decision to continue the freeze on the cost of the Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate, for another year which remains at £29.10 for 3 months or £104 for a year’s certificate.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK is a member of the Prescription Charges Coalition, a network of over 40 organisations campaigning to end prescription charges in England for people with long-term conditions like Crohn’s or Colitis.

It is extremely disappointing that yet again the Government plans to increase prescription charges above inflation for another year.

We already know that one in three people with long-term conditions do not collect all their essential medication due to cost, which inevitably leads to ill-health.

Whilst many will be lucky to afford this rise, we know that far too many working-age people with long-term conditions simply can't afford this and skip medications, which has a real effect on their health and wellbeing.

The Government needs to update the prescription charge system in England as it’s largely remained unchanged since the 1960’s, its old, arbitrary and unfair and its long past its sell by date.

Andy McGuinness
Campaigns Manager, Crohn's & Colitis UK

For more information about this please visit the Prescription Charge Coalition Website 

► Find out more about Prescription Prepayment Certificates and other help with health costs. 
► If you have a permanent stoma you are eligible for medical exemption – find out about how to claim medical exemption.