Repeat users struggle to cope with soaring drug prices

An analysis of prices in major stores, including Boots and Tesco, found the cost of branded paracetamol has risen by 25%, from £3.99 in summer 2020 to £4.99 today.

Hay fever sufferers who have also been affected by a 20% increase in antihistamine allergy relief syrup, from £4.99 to £5.99.

Branded ibuprofen jumped £0.31 or 16% from £1.89 in 2020 to £2.20 now.

And the cost of Colgate toothpaste has also jumped 20% in a year to £3 a tube.

Pediatric medicine was also affected by price increases above inflation. 100ml of Calpol now costs £3.50, 21% more than a year ago.

These price increases will hit those living with long-term illnesses the hardest, as they tend to consume more over-the-counter drugs than others, particularly if they live with chronic pain.

A person taking paracetamol at the maximum dose per day for chronic pain relief in 2020 would spend £40.45 per month. In 2022, the same use would cost £50.59.

Labor said the cost of living crisis was threatening people’s health. Wes Streeting, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Care, said: ‘Families are being deprived of basics to treat illness and maintain good health.

“The Conservatives have overseen a decade of declining wages, and now prices are out of control causing real suffering.

“Labour would remove VAT from household energy bills and cut small business rates now to tame inflation and put money back in people’s pockets.”

A government spokesperson said: “We recognize the pressures people are facing with the rising cost of living and we are taking action to support households – with £37billion of support in place this year alone , which means almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households. will receive support of at least £1,200.

“We have also frozen prescription fees for the first time in 12 years, and extensive arrangements are in place to help people pay for NHS prescriptions.”

The latest economic data last week showed household finances failed to keep up with soaring inflation at the start of the year, marking the first time disposable income has fallen for four consecutive quarters since the beginning of the records.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said real household disposable income fell by 0.2% between January and March. Incomes increased by 1.5%, but this increase was exceeded by household inflation of 1.7%.

Household finances have now been under pressure for a year in a row, with rising prices amid the cost of living crisis, meaning incomes after inflation fell for a record four straight quarters .

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