[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 16:21 GMT
Prescription charges go up again
Prescription drugs
All prescriptions are free of charge in Wales
Prescription charges in England are to rise by 20p on April 1, taking the charge for a single prescription item to 6.85, the government has announced.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said the increase was below inflation and would raise some 425m to be "ploughed back into the NHS".

Dental charges will also go up by less than inflation.

But charity Macmillan Cancer Support said many patients were unable to afford to pay for prescriptions.

Research by the charity suggests one in seven cancer patients aged 55 and under who currently have to pay for prescriptions are unable to afford their cancer treatment.

Professor Jessica Corner, director of improving cancer services at Macmillan, said: "We are extremely disappointed to hear that the government has decided to raise prescription charges in England, particularly as they are to be abolished entirely in Wales on the same day."

In England, around 87% of prescription items are dispensed free of charge.

Optical vouchers to provide help with the cost of spectacles or contact lenses for children, low-income people or those with complex sight problems will rise by an average 2.7%.


SEE ALSO

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific