Prescription charge system doesn’t make sense

I was interested to read that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for wholesale reform of the NHS prescription charge system (
The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:189
). I was surprised to read that 36% of community pharmacists, GPs and nurses think that the current system is acceptable and appropriate.

However, there was no mention of one aspect of the system about which I have railed for years. Why is it permitted that a patient of Doctor A, who habitually prescribes 28-day supplies, is charged the same as a patient of Doctor B, who gives out prescriptions for a 56-day supply? Even worse, some doctors prescribe for 84 days. Should the patient who only gets a 28-day supply not pay less than the patient who gets, say, a 56-day supply?

Over the years I have written to the Department of Health and to individual MPs. This is unfair and should be remedied. Short of completely abolishing the prescription charge, perhaps the RPS could help to address this anomaly.


Ruth Shaw



Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 7 March 2015, Vol 294, No 7852;294(7852):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067911

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