NHS prescription charges are increasing next month - this is how much you'll have to pay

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 4:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 4:38 pm

The cost of medications and medical apparatus is to rise "inline with inflation" as the government bumps up NHS prescription charges.

On 1 April 2020, the NHS in England is adding 15p to its current £9 per prescription item charge. Surgical bras, abdominal and spinal supports, and other medical products like wigs will also all rise in price.

These charges will only apply to patients in England, the only country in the UK with prescription charges.

What to do if your medications are too expensive

Prescriptions are priced in different ways. For example, a one-off prescription medication will cost you £9.15, for three months a prescription will now cost £29.65, and for a yearly prescription the charge will be £105.99. This is called a prescription prepayment certificate and can reduce the cost of prescriptions if you need repeat medicines.

Surgical bras, mostly used by women who are recovering from a mastectomy, will cost £30.05, up from £29.50, and certain wigs will start costing upwards of £74.15.

If your medications are not sold over the counter, speak to your GP about purchasing your prescription from a pharmacy. Sometimes the retail price of medications is lower than the NHS prescription charge.

Claire Anderson, chairwoman of the English pharmacy board at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said, "Raising the amount people have to pay for their prescriptions is deeply concerning.

"People now may not be able to afford their prescriptions and shouldn't be in a position where they have to ration or completely go without their medicines. This could lead to more people becoming ill and would only put more strain on an already stretched NHS.

"Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so it seems so unfair that patients must pay for their medicines in England."

Prescriptions went up to £9 from £8.80 back in February 2019.