Anyone first affected by heart disease … often leaving hospital clutching the contents of a small drugs cabinet … will automatically think “blimey – my monthly prescription’s going to cost me a fortune!” but don’t worry, there are plenty of options available to ease the burden.
Whilst prescription charges have been dropped in most parts of the UK, charges are still compulsory for the majority of people in England and these charges are regularly increasing. At £7.65 per item the cost can be significant for anyone with a heart condition who requires multiple prescribed medications each month. There are ways to reduce the cost though.
Here’s the charges and options:
WALES: No charge for prescriptions for heart patients. NHS prescription charges were abolished in Wales from 1st April 2007.
NORTHERN IRELAND: No charge for prescriptions for heart patients. NHS prescription charges were abolished in Northern Ireland from 1st April 2010.
SCOTLAND: Prescription charges abolished completely from April 2011. No one in Scotland will have to pay for prescribed medicines following the move brought in by the SNP government.
So … that just leaves those of us here in England who still have to pay:
ENGLAND: £7.65 per prescription
In spite of an important review which concluded that heart patients and people with other long-term health conditions in England shouldn’t have to pay for their prescriptions, we’re still expected to pay in most cases. People with other conditions, such as diabetes and epilepsy already benefit from a UK-wide exemption but not so for heart patients … yet! So, until the Government decide otherwise, we still have to pay but there are ways in which we can spread and reduce the cost.
If you have regular prescriptions (more than one a month), it might work out cheaper for you to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).
A PPC is a kind of prescription charge season ticket and is valid for a year. It covers you for all of your own NHS prescription charges, no matter how many items you need.
The current prescription charge (2012) is£7.65 (£15.30 per pair of elastic hosiery)., whereas a three-month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12-month PPC £104.00. The cost can be spread into a monthly direct debit payments and automatically renewed each year.
So, investing in a prescription prepayment certificate allows anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for £2 per week – to stress … ALL the prescriptions they need for any heart related or other condition.
To work it out for you – if you require 15 or more prescription items in a 12 month period you will save money with a PPC . I currently require 4 items per month as standard which is 48 per year which would otherwise cost £367.20 so there are BIG savings to be had.
The most convenient way to pay for your 12-month PPC is by direct debit. This means you can spread the cost evenly over 10 monthly instalments. You can buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) online, simply CLICK HERE, or by phoning the NHS on 0845 850 0030 or filling in form FP95, which you can get from your pharmacy. For more information: click here.
FREE PRESCRIPTIONS: Some people are entitled to free prescriptions due to their age, income or medical condition. You are eligible for free prescriptions if you:
To find out if you’re eligible for free prescriptions, check with your doctor or read NHS information by clicking here.
Did you know that Boots now offer a fantastic online repeat prescription service – a convenient way to manage your repeat prescriptions, saving you time and extra, unnecessary trips to your GP. To sign up for the service, all you need to do is complete a simple online form and Boots will contact your GP surgery to order and collect your repeat prescription. You can then collect your medicines from one of selected Boots stores or, if it is more convenient, they’ll deliver your medicines to an address or Post Office of your choice.
Info by HeartWeb, the UKs national online heart support group.