ANGER is growing with a plan to eliminate free prescriptions for people over 60.
Campaigners have warned millions of patients won’t be able to get the drug if they have to pay.
They said the “ruthless” move would mean thousands of people having to choose between drugs they can buy and bills they can pay.
But the proposal could come into force in April, with a £9.35 prescription fee likely to rise at the same time, Express report.
Laura Cockram, chair of the advocacy group Prescription Fees Coalition, said: “Charging for prescriptions would be a disaster for tens of thousands of people, who may face a new barrier to access. access to their vital drugs.
“Other than saving the NHS money, this proposal is likely to be more costly and cause long-term damage to the health of the nation.
“The proposal risks leaving many people choosing between what drugs they can afford or what bills they can pay.”
Ministers made this proposal last year and the Government continues to consider possible changes.
The plans could bring in an extra £300m for the NHS by 2026/27 – but some have said restricting people’s access to health treatment would cost much more in the long run.
Thorrun Govind, chairman of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s British Medicines Council, said: “If you can’t afford medicines, you’re going to get sicker, leading to poor health and costly and unnecessary hospitalizations. necessary.”
And she added raising the age of eligibility for free prescriptions during the pandemic could seriously affect older people in the UK.
Meanwhile, Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams called it a ‘bump in the teeth’, for both poor elderly people and the NHS.
Patients in the UK are now prescribed free of charge when they turn 60, while the drug is free for everyone in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
But if the proposal goes ahead, the age for free NHS prescriptions would be pushed back to 66 – in line with the state pension age.
Of those aged 60 to 65 who will be affected by the changes, 3.54 million rely on NHS prescriptions.
Of these, about half don’t pay because they have a medical exemption or they have low income or benefits.
These patients will continue to receive free prescriptions under the new proposals.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8252877/anger-plan-change-nhs-prescriptions/ Angered by plans for a major change to free NHS prescriptions amid fears many people won’t be able to afford the drug