Prescription SURVEY: Are you worried about your medication if the age of free prescription increases?

In England, anyone over the age of 60 can apply for a free prescription from the NHS, but the Department for Work and Pensions is considering raising it in line with the state retirement age of 66. The government published its consultation on increasing the age waiver for NHS prescription charges a year ago and if implemented, thousands of people could face extra charges for six years.

Having to pay the £9.35 prescription fee could cost people with chronic conditions a small fortune, deepening the cost of living crisis for many.

READ MORE: End of free NHS prescriptions – DWP hides the truth

The government argues that since many people between the ages of 60 and 65 are still employed, they can afford to cover the costs.

However, having to pay the prescription fee of £9.35 per item could cost chronically ill people who are dependent on multiple medications a small fortune.

Many older people will have to spend hundreds of pounds every year to manage their condition.

This extra cost strains finances and could worsen the cost of living crisis for many.

There are concerns that some people may stop taking their prescriptions because they can no longer afford them.

The DWP claims that 90% of community prescription items in England are free.

However, residents of Scotland and Wales can claim free medicines at any age.

Age UK said there is a strong public health case for giving everyone in England free prescriptions.

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The charity’s director, Caroline Abrahams, said the proposal to increase eligibility for free prescriptions is “unfair”.

She said: “This policy proposal seems all the more unfair as prescriptions are free for everyone in Scotland and Wales.

“There are strong public health arguments to go in this direction here in England too.

“Instead, our government wants to do the opposite: make many more people pay for their drugs, and at an age when it’s all the more important that they take them, control conditions which, left untreated, can lead to very serious medical problems, piling further pressure on the NHS.

“If there ever was a self-defeating policy, this is it, and we know many medical experts agree with us.”

So what do you think? Are you worried about your medication if the free prescription age increases to 66? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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