Prescription charges in England frozen

On 15 May the health secretary announced a freeze on prescription charges in England to help with the cost of living crisis.

While we welcome the freeze in the cost of prescriptions, we were disappointed that the UK government did not agree to review the outdated prescription exemption list, or rule out its proposal to align the charge with the state pension age. This could mean hundreds of thousands of people over 60 in England being faced with paying for prescriptions. We’re still waiting for the outcome of the consultation that ran last year.

Freezing the charge will help people with long-term conditions in England who are struggling to afford the cost of their vital medications.

The charges for prescriptions will remain at:

  • £9.35 for a single item
  • £30.25 for a 3-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)
  • £108.10 for a 12-month PPC.

Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK and Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said:

"We welcome the UK government’s decision to freeze NHS prescription charges to help with the cost of living. It will be a relief for those who need medicine to stay well. However, it appears to be a short-term measure for resolving a long-standing issue. 

"We know that people with long-term health conditions like Parkinson’s, asthma, HIV, heart disease and MS have struggled to afford vital medication. When people miss, reduce or delay taking their medication, their condition deteriorates and they are more likely to visit their GP more or end up in accident and emergency.

"We call on the government to rule out aligning the charge with the state pension age and urgently commit to reviewing the outdated prescription charge exemption list."

Our campaign goes on

The Prescription Charges Coalition will continue to campaign for the charge to be reviewed and scrapped, as we frequently hear from people with long-term conditions who are struggling to afford their medication to stay well.

If you’re interested in telling us about your experience or getting involved in the campaign, please share your story with us.