NHS rule changes could see MILLIONS charged for prescriptions they now get for free

AN NHS rule change could see millions of Brits charged for prescriptions they currently get for free.

The Government is reviewing whether to raise the qualifying age for some medical cost waivers.

Prescriptions for most adults in the United Kingdom sits at £9.35 per item but there are automatic exceptions granted for those deemed in need of assistance.

Currently that includes those over 60 years old, who are granted the right to free prescribed medication.

But there are plans to bump the qualifying age up to 66 which would force millions of over-60s to start fronting up for much-needed antibiotics, illness treatments and other drugs.

The proposed change is expected to impact around 2.4 million people who would be out up to an extra £100 a year.

There's no indication as of yet when the changes could be implemented, however Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sarah Coles predicts it would likely be brought in at the start of April.

The price of prescriptions has already been hiked by 26.4 percent over the last 10 years – an increase of £1.95 per item, a report by Chemist4U found.

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Scotland and Wales currently allow free prescriptions for everyone, and Age UK director Caroline Abrahams says the same should be the case for England.

The campaigner believes the same rule should be applied for across the United Kingdom.

She called the idea to take away funding for over-60s until they turn 66 "a bitter pill to swallow for millions”.

Abrahams told The Express: “We want the Government to realise this will hit those on lower incomes hardest.”

The Royal College of GPs and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society are also standing against the changes.

Another option reportedly "preferred" by the Government is to raise the qualifying age to 66 but phase in the changes.

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