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Prescription cost to rise to £7.20

The Department of Health has announced that from 1 April the cost of a prescription will increase from £7.10 to £7.20 in England.

This comes shortly after the government was attacked by the British Medical Association (BMA) for not abolishing the charges like Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have done.

However, the government is reviewing prescription costs and intends to extend the number of medical conditions which do not have to pay.

A written statement issued by health minister, Dawn Primarolo, covered changes to the price of some dental treatments.

The maximum charge for treatments including fitting of crowns, dentures or bridges, will remain at the current rate of £198.

Simple treatments such as examinations, advice, a scale and polish or an X-ray will increase from £16.20 to £16.50.

Meanwhile, the charge for intermediate treatments, including extractions and fillings, will go up from £44.60 to £45.60.

Optical vouchers will also increase in value by an overall 2%.

The BMA wants prescriptions in England to be free and feels that charging people could act as a disincentive to them taking medications necessary for their health.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Department of Health

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I am sorry but why not make all of the UK pay a smaller prescription charge rather than England carrying the bill for the rest of the UK?! Soon people won't be able to afford the simple things like antibiotics to help them. I think it's a disgrace!" - Sam Jones, Birmingham

"I do not think prescriptions should be free. If everyone paid £1-£2 per item, there would be more money to pay for more expensive drugs that currently people can not have. Would also stop the waste of unused drugs. Where is the money going to come from? School budget, like what is happening in Wales?" - Mo Gwynne, Herefordshire