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UK prescription costs to rise by 25p


The UK government has revealed that the cost of a prescription in England will rise to £7.10.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo announced that the 25p increase will come into effect on 1 April.

The move comes just over a week after a report compiled by Citizens Advice revealed that as many as 800,000 people in England failed to collect a prescription in 2007 because of the cost.

The situation in England is in marked contrast to that in Scotland and Wales.

Welsh patients get free prescriptions, while those in Scotland will see their prescription charges fall to £5 in April, before they eventually become free in 2011.

Ms Primarolo said that the latest increase is well below the rate of inflation, and it is the 10th consecutive year that the rise has been held below or around that level.

She said: “In England, 88% of prescription items are free of charge thanks to our extensive exemption arrangements.

“Prescription charges are expected to raise £435m in the next financial year – that’s valuable income that can be ploughed back into the NHS.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Department of Health

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