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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch West Berkshire

Are you worried about prescription costs?

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS

)recently released the results of a survey showing that pharmacists say the cost of living is having an impact on whether people can afford prescription medicines in England.

One in two pharmacists who responded to the survey said they’ve seen an increase in the last six months in patients asking them which medicines on their prescription they can 'do without' due to affordability issues.

One in two pharmacists had seen a rise in people not collecting their prescription, whilst two out of three pharmacists reported an increase in being asked if there was a cheaper, over-the-counter substitute for the medicine they had been prescribed.

The charge currently stands at £9.35 per item prescribed and an annual rise usually occurs in April. Prescriptions are free for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Tips for saving money on your medicines include:

  • Depending on how many medicines you need it may be cheaper to buy a prescription ‘season ticket’ known as a prescription prepayment certificate available from the NHS. You will save money if you need more than 3 items in 3 months, or 11 items in 12 months.

  • Ask your pharmacist if there is an equivalent medicine costing less than the charge which you can buy over the counter

  • Ask your pharmacist or GP to review your medicines to ensure they are appropriate and that you get the best out of them.

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