Under the new proposals, people will only be able to get free prescriptions when they’re 66, and people over 60 could soon have to pay for their prescriptions under new proposals from ministers.
Over 60s are currently able to avoid prescription charges in England, with exemption also applying to anyone under 16 or teenagers in higher education.
A newspaper outlet has announced that the Government has begun a consultation on whether to raise the cut off point to 66 years old in line with the state pension age.
However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said it was very concerned by the plan and warned it could leave people without the medication they need.
RPS chair in England Thorrun Govind said that the plan to increase the age at which people can obtain free prescriptions from 60 to 66 means that countless more people will be hit by this tax on the sick at precisely the time at which they may be needing more medications.
She said it was unacceptable to increase the cost of prescriptions in the current economic situation when many have been disadvantaged by the pandemic, and that every day pharmacists are asked by patients who are unable to afford all the things on their prescription which ones they could do without.
She continued that patients shouldn’t have to make decisions that involve rationing their medicines and that no one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need.
Ministers are considering a grace period for older people aged between 60 and 65 when the changes come in, enabling them to continue to get free prescriptions.
People currently have to pay £9.35 per prescription item or those who regularly need medicines can purchase a prepaid certificate for £108.10 for 12 months.
Government analysis suggests the move could cost an additional £46.75 a year for the average person without regular needs for medication.
This would rise to an extra £130.90 for people who need more than 12 prescriptions per year.
Ministers believe the move would draw in up to £300 million more for the NHS by 2026-27.
Health Minister James Bethell said that they were committed to improving patient care and helping the NHS with the funding it needs to recover from the pandemic, and he said that the upper age exemption for free prescriptions used to align with the state pension age, but that link has been lost over the years.
Sadly, we have a pretty nefarious, corrupt Government who can find £250,000,000 to have a vanity project “Royal” yacht, give the DUP £500,000,000, a bribe to remain in power and find the funds to renovate that unfit for purpose place called Parliament.
But then we’re the dimwits who continue to fall under the spell of the populist imbecile Boris Johnson and we now need to wake up and smell the coffee. The trouble is, some of us never will because they’re besotted with him, he only has to ruffle his hair and they all love it.
The NHS is supposed to be “Free at the point of use”. And Wales and Scotland are clearly financially better off than England as they don’t have prescription charges.
But this could all be because we’re heading towards privatising the NHS, but countless people rely on life-saving medications, and none of them will be able to afford the medications they need, but even more, could be recovered by taxing the super-rich and other tax evaders.
And if COVID didn’t get you, the Tories will, and as Scrooge said: “Decrease the surplus population”, and that’s precisely what our Government want by charging older people for prescriptions, and they have no shame, they’re definitely living up to their name of the Nasty Party.