There are fears that the age of free prescription may be under threat due to government consultation on the issue. At present, it is planned to raise the age of free prescription to bring it into line with the legal retirement age.
This would mean an increase from 60 to 66+ for those residing in England.
As a result, millions more may have to pay the dispensing fee – currently set at £9.35, but set to rise in April.
This notion has angered many older people who are worried about facing the cost of NHS prescriptions.
Thousands of people have taken to Parliament’s official website to sign a petition titled ‘Protect free NHS prescriptions for over-60s’.
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He said: “This government values our older society and recognizes its health, social and economic care needs.
“This petition, which currently stands at 43,077, and the consultation to align the upper age for exemption from prescription fees with the state retirement age which has received more than 117,000 responses, testify of the strength of feelings within our community.
“We are encouraged to see so many people expressing their views.”
However, at present no decision has been made on the consultation and the British will have to wait.
If more than 11 items are needed in a year, a 12 month PPC will help Brits save money – costing just over £2 a week.
Certain health conditions and circumstances may also qualify a person for a free prescription.
It’s worth checking via the NHS website, which offers more details.
Referring to why the matter is being investigated, the government said: “Raising the upper age limit for free prescriptions for people who previously received free prescriptions based solely on their age rather than their inability to pay, would shift resources from people to the NHS.
“These funds could then be spent on improving patient services, which would result in health benefits for society at large.”