NHS Prescription charges frozen for first time in 12 years due to cost of living crisis

Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions

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Prescription costs will stay frozen for the first time in 12 years to compensate for the cost-of-living crisis, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed. This is despite the fact a rise on April 1 was widely anticipated.

Considering prescription charges have increased by more than 20 percent from £7.65 per item since 2012 this can only be good news.

More than 10 million Britons rely on prescription medication every year and many struggle to pay increasing prescription charges.

Prescriptions cost £9.35 each, which works out at £112 a year if someone relies on them every month.

Many people thought the charges would rise further this year adding more stress to people who are already struggling.

However, Edward Argar, the minister of state for health, confirmed: “Prescription charges will not be uplifted on 1 April 2022.

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He added: “There is currently no planned announcement on any future increase.

“Decisions on increases take account of a range of evidence including the Gross Domestic Product deflator.”

Furthermore, there are some ways people can make even more savings on the cost of medication.

Initially they should check whether they might actually qualify for Government support.

Secondly, anyone who relies on one prescription every month would make savings by investing in a Pre Payment Certificate (PPC)).

A PPC lets people buy as many NHS prescriptions as they need for a set price.

This certificate costs:

  • £30.25 for 3 months
  • £108.10 for 12 months

Anyone who relies on one prescription per month would save, while an individual who relies on two could save over £100 a year.

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People with certain medical conditions usually qualify for free prescriptions such as:

  • cancer, including the effects of cancer or the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
  • a permanent fistula (for example, a laryngostomy, colostomy, ileostomy or some renal dialysis fistulas) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
  • epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability that means you cannot go out without the help of another person (temporary disabilities do not count, even if they last for several months).

For more information Britons should go to the NHS website.

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