Prescription Charges Increase Disappoints the Hibbs Lupus Trust

image of inside a pharmacy

The Department of Health and Social Care’s announcement of a hike in prescription charges, effective from 1st May 2024, has left the Hibbs Lupus Trust profoundly disappointed. With the NHS prescription charge set to rise to £9.90 per prescription item, and the cost of Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPCs) also escalating, the burden on individuals living with long-term health conditions like lupus is set to intensify.

Prescription typeCurrent costCost from 1 May 2024
Single item£9.65£9.90 (up 25p)
Three-month prepayment certificate£31.25£32.05 (up 80p)
12-month prepayment certificate£111.60£114.50 (up £2.90)

Living with lupus or any long-term health condition entails numerous daily challenges, including substantial financial implications. From increased utility bills to the procurement of vital assistive technology devices, the costs can quickly become overwhelming. The Hibbs Lupus Trust stands in solidarity with individuals facing these challenges, advocating for fair and equitable access to healthcare.

As a member of the Prescription Charges Coalition, we have persistently called upon the government to abolish prescription charges for people grappling with conditions like lupus. The current system forces many to make difficult decisions between essential medications and other basic necessities, such as heating their homes.

Research conducted by the Prescription Charges Coalition illuminates the dire consequences of financial barriers to medication access. Shockingly, a third of individuals of working age with long-term conditions have foregone collecting prescriptions due to cost concerns. This not only jeopardises their health but also incurs additional burdens on the healthcare system, resulting in more GP appointments, hospital admissions, and societal costs.

England remains the sole constituent country of the UK where prescription charges persist. It’s time for a systemic overhaul to ensure equitable access to healthcare for all individuals living with long-term conditions. No one should be forced to bear the financial strain of essential medications.

The Hibbs Lupus Trust reiterates its call for urgent action to rectify this disparity. We urge policymakers to prioritise the welfare of individuals with long-term conditions by implementing a fair and inclusive prescription system. Access to healthcare is a fundamental right, not a privilege contingent on financial means.

Prescription Prepayment Certificates

If you know you’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). A PPC covers all your NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need. A PPC does not cover the cost of other health items, such as wigs and fabric supports.

How to apply for a PPC

Check if you can get free prescriptions before you apply for a PPC.

It’s quickest to buy a PPC online. The PPC will start from the day you submit your application, unless you ask for a different start date. The start date must be within 1 month before or after the date of your application.

You can also apply using the PPC order line on 0300 330 1341. Your PPC will be valid from the day you make the phone call, unless you request otherwise.

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