Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Royston Smith Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse was of a) subsidising prescriptions for people who do not pay the fixed rate for prescriptions, and b) paying the difference between cost of prescription medicines and the fixed rates paid for them by people who are not entitled to help with the cost of prescriptions, over the last twelve months for which data is available.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The following table shows the net ingredient cost (NIC) of drugs for both patients who pay a prescription charge and patients who are exempt from prescription charges, including those with a valid prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).

Drug cost split by prescription charge status (April 2017 - March 2018)

Total net ingredient cost (£ million)

Prescribing identified as attracting a prescription charge

503.1

Prescribing identified as exempt from prescription charges (including PPC exemption)

8,526.2

The following table shows the NIC and the revenue collected for all prescriptions where the patient has made some form of payment in terms of either a prescription charge at the point of dispensing or via a PPC.

Drug cost for prescribing associated with some form of customer payment and revenue collected from prescription charges and PPCs

(April 2017 - March 2018)

Total net ingredient cost (£ million)

Revenue collected for prescription charges (£ million)

Revenue collected for PPCs (£ million)

Total drug costs minus revenue collected (£ million)

Prescribing identified as attracting a prescription charge

503.1

470.5

n/a

400.0

Prescribing identified as exempt from prescription charges based on a PPC exemption

516.8

n/a

149.4

Note: The National Health Service prescription charge was £8.60 for each prescribed item for the time period financial year 2017/18

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