Over one million folks may have saved on NHS prescriptions with a “season ticket” final yr, an investigation has revealed.
Sufferers who paid for a minimum of 12 prescriptions final yr may have saved £40 on common, the buyer web site MoneySavingExpert.com discovered.
NHS figures disclosed to MSE underneath the Freedom of Data Act present that 1,058,147 folks paid for 12 or extra prescribed gadgets within the 2019/20 monetary yr, however may have saved a median of £40 with an NHS prescription fee certificates (PPC). With a PPC, the affected person solely pays as soon as after which will get free prescriptions for the interval lined.
The i e-newsletter reduce by way of the noise
Every prescription merchandise in England price £9 over this era – which means every affected person paid a minimal of £108. But a PPC, which acts like a season ticket for prescriptions, prices £104 for 12 months. On common, those that paid for 12 gadgets or extra really purchased about 16 gadgets every – which means the typical saving with a PPC would have been £40.
The quantity of people that may have saved by shopping for an annual PPC has steadily risen for every of the final 5 years, and it’s the second yr working that greater than one million may have saved with one.
The prescription cost in England is now £9.15 per merchandise, after going up in April this yr. The annual PPC additionally went up in worth on the identical time and prices £105.90, however will nonetheless save money for individuals who pay for 12 or extra prescription gadgets per yr. A 3-month PPC can be out there to buy, which prices £29.65 and can save money for individuals who pay for greater than three prescribed gadgets in three months.
Steve Nowottny, information and investigations editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, stated: “These figures present an enormous variety of sufferers are paying greater than they should for drugs and different gadgets prescribed on the NHS. After all, it’s generally unimaginable to foretell when you’ll want a prescription, and if folks fall unexpectedly sick that could be unavoidable in some circumstances.
“But there will probably be many, for instance these with continual sickness, who will probably be conscious they’ll possible have to pay for plenty of prescriptions – and as a rule, when you pay for a prescription greater than as soon as a month, a prescription fee certificates will possible reduce the associated fee. Whereas the NHS has tried to advertise these ‘season tickets’, there are clearly many who aren’t conscious they’ll save – so extra should be carried out to make sure sufferers aren’t unnecessarily overpaying.”
Shopper consultants say that it’s price checking eligibility free of charge prescriptions on the NHSBSA web site earlier than shopping for a prepayment certificates. Those that are prescribed widespread remedy reminiscent of painkillers or dermatology lotions which are additionally out there over-the-counter may discover it’s typically cheaper to purchase that means.