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Prescription charges to rise from April

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The cost of NHS prescriptions will increase in England from April, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed.

The cost of a prescription will increase by 20p from £8.60 to £8.80 for each medicine or appliance dispensed from 1 April 2018.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that prescription charges are rising broadly in line with inflation.

However, the cost of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) – a ‘season ticket’ for patients who know they’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions – will be frozen.

The three-month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104, allowing unlimited prescriptions within the specified time period.

The DHSC confirmed that the existing arrangements for prescription exemptions will remain in place; such as for pregnant women and new mothers, those over the age of 60, those with medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and diabetes, as well as those on low incomes.

Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation:

  • Surgical bra: £28.85
  • Abdominal or spinal support: £43.60
  • Stock modacrylic wig: £71.25
  • Partial human hair wig: £188.70
  • Full bespoke human hair wig: £275.95.

The DHSC said as part of its 2015 spending review, the government committed to support the ‘Five Year Forward View’ with £10bn investment in real terms by 2020/21 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22bn of efficiency savings.

The department has yet to announce changes to dental costs but this will be finalised before April.