New regulations set to be passed by the Scottish Parliament mean prescription charges for patients are to fall again.
The regulations, likely to be laid down at Holyrood, mean that from April, single prescription items will cost £3 rather than £4.
Public health minister Shona Robison described the move as “great news for patients”.
She said: “Not only will it bring us nearer to removing a tax on ill health that people needing medicines shouldn’t have to face, it’s in line with the founding principle of the NHS that it should be free at the point of delivery.”
In 2007, the Scottish Government revealed plans to abolish prescription charges, and aims to complete the process by April 2011. Patients in England pay £7.20 for prescriptions.
The Government has projected that the cost of the latest reduction will be less than the £24 million it budgeted for this year.
Pre-payment certificates will also be cheaper. These allow people who need medicine over a longer period of time to pay a set amount in advance, saving them money.
Copyright Press Association 2010