PATIENTS are being urged to make sure they don’t miss out on vital medicines because they are worried about cost.
The call comes with the national price of NHS prescriptions rising 20p to £7.85 as of April 1.
However the majority of people who need regular medication can get it for far less or will qualify for free prescriptions.
Dr Manir Hussain is a Pharmacist and Head of Medicines Management for North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups.
He said: “The last thing local doctors want is for anyone to go without the medicines they need because of cost.
“Most people are still entitled to free prescriptions. However, for those that do need to pay, there are a number of ways of keeping the prescriptions costs down.”
One way to save on prescription costs is to buy a prepayment certificate (PPC) which costs £29.10 for three months or £104 for 12 months.
The PPC will cover the cost of all prescription medicines needed during the period covered, so anyone needing more than three medicines over three months or 13 medicines in a year will save.
Dr Hussain said: “It is important people realise they can benefit from these NHS schemes.
“If any patients have doubts about the most cost-effective way of paying for medicines they should talk to their GP or local community pharmacist. They may also qualify for free prescriptions.”
Details of the pre-payment scheme can also be found online at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/2131.aspx or you can ring 0300 330 1341 for advice on PPCs.