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Prescription charges "unacceptable"

High prescription charges are preventing people with chronic health problems from getting the treatment they need, warns the Citizens Advice Bureau.

New research reveals that around 800,000 people failed to collect a prescription last year in England due to high costs.

The Citizen's Advice Bureau is calling on the Department of Health to carry out a review of prescription charging in England.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, David Harker, said: "We first raised this problem in 2001, yet seven years later the number of people failing to cash a prescription because they can't afford it has remained unchanged.

"And although the government says it recognises the links between poverty and ill health, the Department of Health's extraordinary delay in starting the consulting process has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people not being able to afford the treatments the need."

The longer the government fails to look into the issue, says Citizens Advice, the more people in England are going without the prescriptions they need.

David Harker added: "It is simply unacceptable that people are still failing to collect prescriptions because they can't afford it.

"It is essential that there is now urgent action to finally eliminate prescription poverty in England."

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"I have been chronically unwell for ten years and have been paying for my prescriptions. The cost has steadily been rising and as I am on a range of repeat prescriptions, the situation for me is becoming increasingly difficult. I imagine for many people, the rising cost of prescription charges remains a problem - especially for those on low incomes. GPs really do have a responsibility to bring this to the attention of the government as an issue." - Stephanie,  London