Chemist4U research found that prescriptions saw their price increase by 2.35% on average year over year. Overall, over the past 10 years, Britons have seen their NHS prescription costs increase by 26.35%, with this trend set to continue for the foreseeable future. Over-the-counter drugs are expected to cross the Â£ 10 mark by 2024, reaching Â£ 11 by 2028. Prescriptions are expected to cost Â£ 13 by 2035 if this continues, research shows.
Free prescriptions are also available for those under the age of 16 or anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 who is in full-time education.
James O’Loan, pharmacist and CEO of Chemist4U, explained what his company’s research reveals about the UK’s relationship with rising prescription costs.
Mr. O’Loan explained, âPrescription drugs are a great way to treat many medical conditions and make a real difference in keeping us fit and healthy.
âHowever, in many cases we can now be used to waiting for a prescription as soon as we see a doctor or prescribing professional, when this is not always necessary.
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“This is further proven by our data showing that the number of prescriptions dispensed has increased over the years, suggesting that either the medical conditions have increased or we are not as careful as possible when it comes to prescribing one. medication.
âAlong with the cost of prescriptions and drugs as a whole, this is certainly a source of concern. “
In response to the rising cost of prescriptions, a coalition of charities and health organizations has come together to call on the government to keep free NHS prescriptions for those over 60.
The government is on the verge of aligning access to free prescriptions in England with the state’s retirement age of 66, which means many people will have to wait longer to get their ‘free drugs “.
Experts believe this will discriminate against some of the most vulnerable groups in society, including the elderly and unpaid caregivers.
Currently, people living in Scotland and Wales receive free prescriptions from the NHS, regardless of their age.
Professor Martin Marshall, Chairman of the Board of the Royal College of General Practitioners, is one of the signatories of an open letter to the government, urging it to rethink its decision on this issue.
Professor Martin said: âWe have always supported all safe and sensible measures to reduce drug costs for patients and to ensure equitable access to necessary drugs for all patients.
“The introduction of an additional cost for those over 60 who manage long-term health problems will, albeit unintentionally, disproportionately affect a large group of patients who are low-income but just above the cut-off. financial assistance for the costs of their medications.
âMany patients are already waiting longer for treatment or will have seen their health deteriorate due to the challenges of the past 18 months.
âThis change will discourage financially less affluent patients from proactively managing their health and could mean they come to general medicine when their problems are much worse and when general medicine is already at the breaking point.
âWe urge the government to reconsider these proposals. “
In England, the NHS prescription fee has increased to Â£ 9.35 per prescription item as of April 1, 2021.