The cost of an NHS prescription will increase to £9.15 for each medication or appliance from next month.
The 15p per-item increase is part of a series of cost rises announced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) today (3 March).
Also going up from 1 April are the costs of prescription pre-payment certificates (PPCs), and NHS wigs and fabric supports.
The new charges are:
- Single prescription charge: £9.15
- Three-month PPC: £29.65
- Twelve-month PPC: £105.90
Following the announcement Chair of the English Pharmacy Board at RPS, Claire Anderson described the price hike has 'deeply concerning'.
She said: 'Raising the amount people have to pay for their prescriptions is deeply concerning. People now may not be able to afford their prescriptions and shouldn’t be in a position where they have to ration or completely go without their medicines. This could lead to more people becoming ill and would only put more strain on an already stretched NHS. '
Echoing Ms Anderson's comments, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee's (PSNC) Chief Executive Simon Dukes said: 'Pharmacies report that many people already find it difficult to pay the prescription charge. Whilst we recognise the financial pressures that the NHS is under, raising the prescription tax once again runs the risk of those most in need not getting their medicines – ultimately adding to the NHS bill elsewhere.'
The price increases are in line with inflation, the government said. The full statement and list of changes can be viewed here.