Prescription Charges

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1964.

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Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West 12:00 am, 27th April 1964

asked the Minister of Health if he will now exempt patients being treated for coronary thrombosis and diabetes from payment of the 2s. per item prescription charge.

Photo of Mr Anthony Barber Mr Anthony Barber , Doncaster

No, sir. There are already adequate arrangements for refunding prescription charges in cases of financial hardship.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

Apart from the continuing unfairness: that those who are most sick have most to pay; will not the right hon. Gentleman do something about the health hazard to patients with coronary thrombosis? Is he aware that the usual treatment of 100 tablets of trinitron costs 1s. 4½d. and that many patients go straight to the chemist, thus saving 7½d. in cash and getting quicker prescriptions, which means that angina patients are not seeing their doctors regularly? This is a danger to the patient. Will the right hon. Gentleman regard it from that point of view and not only from the financial angle?

Photo of Mr Anthony Barber Mr Anthony Barber , Doncaster

To exempt any group of patients, however one defined that group, from payment of prescription charges without reference to their means would be unfair to the patients in comparable and sometimes less favourable financial circumstances. I am informed that a patient requiring long-term treatment for coronary thrombosis would probably not require more than two drugs simultaneously and that a month's supply could often be prescribed.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

As more tablets are needed, will not the right hon. Gentleman issue advice to general practitioners to give greater quantities, so that at least patients will be encouraged to go to their doctors and not just to their chemists?

Photo of Mr Anthony Barber Mr Anthony Barber , Doncaster

That I am very happy to do.