COMMENT: Reaction to Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin's call for free prescriptions. '£1 charge could strike the right balance' says Dr Parastou Donyai, Director of the University of Reading's Pharmacy Practice
Release Date 15 May 2014
Dr Parastou Donyai, Director of the University of Reading's Pharmacy Practice, said:
"Prescription charges are a complex and controversial issue. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society believes the charge stops some patients from taking their medicines but others claim that a free system promotes over-ordering and medicines waste. Estimates suggest that medicines waste costs the NHS £300 million each year due to a whole range of factors that include patient motivations, practical difficulties, treatment related effects or system failures.
"At the University of Reading we are keen to explore if a nominal payment of circa £1 for all prescriptions may strike the right balance. This symbolic agreement could be the answer to a difficult problem.
"This is not the first time that doctors have asked for prescription charges to be abolished in England. This will match what happens in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The 2009 Gilmore review asked for many more long-term medical conditions to become exempt from charges, but the British Medical Association argued further that all prescriptions should be free."