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Scotland abolishes prescription charges

Prescription charge cuts in Scotland as phasing out of the charge begins

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 06 December 2007

Scotland will abolish the prescription charge from April 2011.

In the meantime there will be a phased reduction in charges beginning with a 25% cut to £5.00 from April 2008.

People who suffer from chronic or long-term conditions will feel the impact of the changes even faster, beginning with a 50 per cent cut in the cost of prescription pre-payment certificates (PPCs) from next April.

Making the announcement yesterday, Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Prescription charges are a tax on ill health, and can be a barrier to good health for too many people.”

Provision for the cost of the proposals has been made in the Spending Review allowing £20m, £32m and £45m for the three financial years from 2008-09.

Around 50 per cent of the population currently qualify for free prescriptions and 92 per cent (68 million) of items dispensed in Scotland are supplied to patients free of charge.

How the abolition will be phased in

Prescription pre-payment certificate (4 months):

  • Current cost £35.85
  • 2008-09 £17.00
  • 2009-10 £13.00
  • 2010-11 £10.00
  • April 2011 free

Prescription pre-payment certificates (12 months):

  • Current cost £98.70
  • 2008-09 £48.00
  • 2009-10 £38.00
  • 2010-11 £28.00
  • April 2011 free

Singe prescription:

  • Current cost £6.85
  • 2008-09 £5.00
  • 2009-10 £4.00
  • 2010-11 £3.00
  • April 2011 free

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