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DHSC freezes free prescription age at 60 - 0 views

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    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed on Thursday (15 June) that everyone aged 60 and over will continue to receive free prescriptions. In response to a consultation launched by the DHSC in 2021 looking at whether the age free prescriptions become available should be aligned with the State Pension age, which is currently 66, the government decided to freeze the age at 60. Minister for Health Neil O'Brien said: "This government recognises the pressures with the cost of living caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That's why we are providing cost of living help worth £3,300 on average per household over last year and this, among the most generous help anywhere in Europe. "It's also why we have decided to maintain the prescription exemption age where it is. Nine out of 10 prescriptions are already free at the point of use and on top of that we also provide financial help to others on low incomes who don't automatically get prescriptions for free. "Prescription charge exemptions will also remain in place for those aged under 16 or aged 17 and 18 but in full time education, while those in receipt of certain benefits can also receive free prescriptions," said DHSC. For those who do not qualify for an exemption or the NHS Low Income Scheme, prepayment certificates (PPC) are available to help with frequent prescriptions should they be required. The annual PPC can be paid for through 10 instalments. This means people can have as many prescription items as needed for just over £2 per week.
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NHS prescription charges frozen for first time in 12 years - 0 views

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    The government has announced a freeze to the NHS prescription charges, first time in 12 years, to help people ease with the cost of living and ensure prescription medication remains accessible. Charges for prescriptions will remain at £9.35 for a single charge or £30.25 for a 3-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said, adding that the measure will help save £17 million. The 12-month PPCs will remain at £108.10 and can be paid for in instalments, meaning people can get all the medicines they need for just over £2 a week, it added. The NHS low income scheme will also help with prescription payments, with free prescriptions for eligible people in certain groups such as pensioners, students, and those who receive state benefits or live in care homes. "The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin's illegal war in Ukraine. While we cannot completely prevent these rises, where we can help, we absolutely will," Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said. "This is why I am freezing prescription charges to help ease some of these pressures and put money back in people's pockets."
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Prescription Charges Crisis: Urgent Plea to DHSC for a Freeze in 2024-2025 - 0 views

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    Campaigners have submitted an open letter to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), urging the Minister for Primary Care and Public Health to freeze prescription charges to keep people with long-term conditions alive and well. The campaign is led by the Prescription Charges Coalition, which represents over 50 organisations, including Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA). Currently, the prescription charge is £9.65 per item, and campaigners have asked the government to freeze it for 2024 and 2025 as people living with long-term health conditions in England are "being forced to choose between heating, eating, and taking their vital medication on a daily basis." In 2023, a study conducted by the Prescription Charges Coalition revealed that almost 10 per cent of survey participants had skipped medication in the previous year due to the cost of prescriptions. This led to increased physical and mental health problems, as well as impacted the time they took off work. Laura Cockram, Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition and Head of Campaigns at Parkinson's UK, expressed deep concern that a further rise in the charge this year will lead to people skipping or not taking the full dose of their medication, which will affect their health and put more pressure on the already under pressure NHS.
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Unlock Savings on NHS Prescriptions for Long-Term Health - 0 views

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    NHS England has launched a prescription savings campaign, particularly for those living with long-term conditions. The campaign is specifically for individuals residing in deprived areas as they receive more prescriptions than people in affluent areas. It is also known that people with low income could be entitled to help with costs or free prescriptions depending on their circumstances. The Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA), an active member of the Prescription Charges Coalition, is actively striving to eliminate prescription charges in England as well. They are focussing on "NHS England's current efforts to minimise charges so that members practising in England can alert patients to this possibility".
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Paper Prescription : Account Identifier Document required - 0 views

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    Pharmacy contractors will no longer need to print and submit a paper copy of their completed FP34C declaration made through the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal when submitting their paper prescription bundle to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), said the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC). Instead, from August 2022 (for July 2022 prescriptions), NHSBSA will post out a paper Account Identifier Document along with the red separators and pharmacy address labels each month. "The Account Identifier Document should be placed alongside the paper prescription bundle before it is dispatched for payment to the relevant pricing division of NHSBSA," said PSNC. With the help of Account Identifier Document, NHSBSA will be able to easily identify the pharmacy that has submitted the prescription bundle, which will help to speed up prescription processing. "If the Account Identifier Document is lost or misplaced, contractors will still be able to download and print another copy from MYS. The July 2022 Drug Tariff will be updated to reflect this change."
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Impact of prescription charges on people in England:RPS - 0 views

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    The result from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)'s survey showed that pharmacists witnessed 'the cost of living is having an impact on whether people can afford prescription medicines in England'. RPS has long campaigned to remove prescription charges for people with long-term conditions in England because they create a financial barrier to patients receiving the medicines needed to keep them well. The charge currently stands at £9.35 per item prescrib9ed and an annual rise usually occurs in April. Prescriptions are free for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. One in two pharmacists who responded to the survey said they've seen an increase in the last six months in patients asking them which medicines on their prescription they can 'do without' due to affordability issues. One in two pharmacists had seen a rise in people not collecting their prescription, whilst two out of three pharmacists reported an increase in being asked if there was a cheaper, over-the-counter substitute for the medicine they had been prescribed.
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Numark TV campaign to promote repeat prescription service - 0 views

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    Numark is set to launch a large-scale broadcast campaign to promote its Hey Pharmacist repeat prescription service on May 22. The new campaign introduces, 'Repeat prescriptions. Made simple,' with a set of three TV adverts that feature three different heightened-reality scenarios. In each advert, the hero discovers they have forgotten to order their repeat prescription at a less than ideal time but thanks to Hey Pharmacist, a few taps later their problems are solved. The adverts highlight how managing your repeat prescriptions has never been quicker or simpler in a tongue-in-cheek, comedic tone. The campaign - which incorporates national broadcast and SkyAdSmart TV alongside digital, social, and in-store campaigns across England - promotes the Hey Pharmacist app which provides Numark members in England with an end-to-end online repeat prescription proposition, helping them deliver a best-in-class digital capability which highlights the benefits for patients who choose to collect their medication from their local Numark pharmacy. Jeremy Meader, managing director of Numark, commented: "It is very exciting to see our first TV campaign go live. The creative does a brilliant job in bringing to life the benefits of Hey Pharmacist, highlighting how easy and effortless managing prescriptions can be. We look forward to assisting more everyday heroes and supporting our members in showcasing this exciting digital proposition to a larger audience."
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Titan PMR receives NHS accreditation to provide EPS - 0 views

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    Titan PMR has been accredited by the NHS to provide electronic prescription services (EPS) to dispensing doctors. Over 1,000 of these doctors, who provide a vital service to almost 10 million people in rural communities, can now offer their patients the same level of benefits and efficiencies that electronic prescriptions and Titan PMR have brought to pharmacies around the UK. These features will also increase efficiency for dispensing doctors, who will reduce dispensing errors and improve organisation, increasing their capacity while enjoying the ability to integrate with other technologies. After a full year of testing, including six months of compliance testing at a practice in Cumbria, the new accreditation for Titan also has potential to help the NHS fulfil its target of all prescriptions being issued electronically. Currently written paper prescriptions from dispensing doctors account for around seven per cent of the total prescriptions in England - around 6.5 million each month. "Until now dispensing doctor surgeries have basically been in the digital dark ages when it comes to dispensing medicines," said Tariq Muhammad, a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Bristol-based Invatech Health, which developed Titan PMR.
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Digital Prescriptions Revolutionize NHS - 0 views

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    In a groundbreaking move towards modernising healthcare, England's National Health Service (NHS) has successfully implemented digital prescriptions, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its latest regional digital health report. Since January 2024, patients across England have had access to their prescription information through the NHS App, marking a significant leap in healthcare accessibility and efficiency. With over 33 million registered users, representing 75 per cent of the adult population, the NHS App has become a vital tool in managing healthcare online. The introduction of digital prescriptions allows users to order repeat prescriptions online without the need for a GP visit. This innovation has witnessed a surge in digital requests, with over 3.1 million repeat prescriptions processed monthly.
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NHS Prescription Charges Soar: RPS and CPE React - 0 views

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    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England (RPS) and Community Pharmacy England (CPE) have raised alarm over the impending increase in NHS prescription charges, slated to take effect from May 1, 2024. The RPS, represented by Chair Tase Oputu, condemned the rise, labeling it a "dark day for patients" who will now face nearly £10 per prescription item. Oputu emphasised the disproportionate impact on individuals with low incomes, citing the "relentless annual increases in prescription charges" as exacerbating the affordability crisis in healthcare. " Every day pharmacists are asked by patients who are unable to afford all the items in their prescription which ones they can 'do without'" she said. She further added that the financial barriers to get vital medicines should not be faced by any one and advocated for "the abolition of prescription charges in England, as has been implemented in other parts of the UK".
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Asda Revolutionary Online Prescription Service - 0 views

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    In a recent announcement, the British supermarket chain, Asda has launched its first online prescription service becoming the first self-serving shop to offer prescribed medicine supply at the doorsteps through its latest healthcare accessibility venture. The NHS certified online pharmacy service, Asda Online Pharmacy, is set to offer patients a digital platform designed to simplify the prescription process for patients, offering the convenience of online management and home delivery with their partnership with Pharmacy2U. Effective immediately, new patients can register for an account on the platform via pharmacy.asda.com. Once registered, they gain access to a seamless prescription ordering system that facilitates home delivery, along with the ability to monitor the progress of their orders. Prescriptions submitted through Asda Online Pharmacy will undergo rigorous scrutiny by qualified pharmacists before being dispatched directly to patients' doorsteps, all without any additional charges.
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NPA : Patients go without prescription medicines - 0 views

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    Almost nine in ten community pharmacists in England say they have patients who sometimes go without prescription medicines because they cannot afford the prescription charge levied by the government. Sixty-eight per cent of pharmacists in a National Pharmacy Association (NPA) survey, conducted via email in June 2022, said this has become more frequent in the past year - suggesting that the rising cost of living could be leading more people to miss out on vital medicines. While prescription charge does not apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in England an NHS patients needs to pay £9.35 per item. For patients who need multiples medicines the cost could be exponential and virtually unaffordable amid rising inflation and higher cost of living. The survey found that 89 per cent of pharmacies in England have patients who sometimes go without prescription medicines due to cost. For most pharmacists (74 per cent) this happens one to five times a week. Fifteen per cent said they see such patients from six to 20 times a week.
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PDA Prescription Charges Coalition Survey - 0 views

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    Extending its support for the Prescription Charges Coalition (PCC), the Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) is asking pharmacists in England to share their experiences of patients denying prescriptions due to financial issues. PDA members who have practiced in the country within the last 12 months are asked to complete the Prescription Charges Coalition survey by Sunday 28 January. The PCC is an alliance of more than 50 organisations campaigning to abolish unfair prescription charges for people with long-term conditions in England. All members of the coalition, including PDA and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), understand that if patients do not receive their prescribed medicines due to the cost, their health may deteriorate, and this can increase costs for the National Health Service (NHS).
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Unlocking Convenience: Digital Prescriptions on NHS App - 0 views

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    Thanks to a new service added to the NHS App, patients in England can now see their prescriptions online and collect their prescribed medication from the nominated pharmacy or a pharmacy of their choice without a paper prescription. NHS England has introduced digital prescriptions in the app following a successful trial last year involving over a million users. Users without a nominated pharmacy can collect their prescriptions from any pharmacy using the barcode in the app, but this is not required for patients with a nominated pharmacy as details would be sent to their pharmacy electronically. From now on, patients waiting for elective hospital treatment can also check the average waiting time for their procedure at their local trust using the NHS App.
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Illegal prescription tablets :240,000 tablets seized - 0 views

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    Authorities in Northern Ireland have seized more than 242,000 unlicensed prescription tablets purchased online and destined for addresses throughout NI. The medicines seized include Diazepam, used for anti-anxiety treatment, Pregabalin, used for epilepsy and anxiety, steroids and Zopiclone. Other prescription medicines recovered included Tamoxifen, often used in the treatment of breast cancer and Salbutamol inhalers, frequently used in the treatment of asthma. "Co-operation between law enforcement agencies and government departments has led to the seizure of over 242,000 illegal and unlicensed tablets purchased online and destined for addresses throughout Northern Ireland," justice minister Naomi Long was reported as saying. The minister, together with health minister Robin Swann and assistant chief constable Mark McEwan PSNI were highlighting Northern Ireland's input to the global, Interpol co-ordinated Operation Pangea XV, which saw multiple packages of tablets intercepted and seized, with a street value of almost £250,000. She praised the concerted efforts made by PSNI, Border Force and officials from the Department of Health Medicines Regulatory Group during a specific week of action in June.
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Rising Patient Declines: Urgent Action Needed on Prescription Charges - 0 views

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    More than a third of pharmacists who participated in a survey said they have seen an increase in patients declining prescriptions due to the cost in the last 12 months. The survey was jointly conducted by the Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), extending their support for the Prescription Charges Coalition (PCC). Responding to the survey, 90 per cent of pharmacists admitted seeing cases where patients decline all the medicines on a prescription due to cost. Nearly all respondents said they have seen cases where patients declined some of their prescribed medicines and more than a quarter of them have experienced such situation often. They have warned of the impact of prescription charges as patients are denying vital medicines, including those for blood pressure and mental health, inhalers, antibiotics, pain relief, and statins, which can have potential consequences for the individual's health.
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Private Prescription Dispensing Changes This Autumn |UK News - 0 views

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    The regulatory amendments proposed will enable pharmacists to dispense medicines in their original packaging for private prescriptions starting this Autumn, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. In the recently published draft OPD regulations, the DHSC has indicated that the alterations, permitting pharmacists to vary the dispensed quantity by up to 10 per cent to avoid splitting medicine packs, will be implemented for private prescriptions 'immediately upon the enforcement of the Human Medicines Amendment Regulations in the autumn,' as highlighted in a briefing by Community Pharmacy England. CPE stated that the regulations related to NHS prescriptions will come into effect when the pharmaceutical terms of service regulations expressly apply the OPD amendments. Moreover, new directive mandating the dispensing of sodium valproate products solely in their original packaging (except when an assessment of risk necessitates an alternative approach) will align with the rollout of the private prescription regulations during the autumn. CPE further noted that these regulations are currently in draft, indicating that they are not currently in effect and may undergo revisions prior to their implementation.
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Prescription medicines delivery by drones : Boots pharmacy - 0 views

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    Boots has become the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport prescription medicines by a drone. The pharmacy multiple completed a test flight transporting prescription-only medicines by drone from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight earlier this month. The flight departed from the British Army's Baker Barracks on Thorney Island near Portsmouth and arrived at St. Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight. The medicines were collected by Boots personnel and transported to the multiple's pharmacies across the island, where they will be dispensed to patients with prescriptions for them. Boots worked with medical drone start-up Apian to facilitate the test flight and is now assessing the future potential for drones in medicines delivery. Rich Corbridge, chief information officer at Boots, said: "Drones have a huge potential in the delivery of medicines and it is incredibly exciting to be the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport them in this way. An island location like the Isle of Wight seemed like a sensible place to start a trial of drones and their value to the delivery of medicines to more remote locations is very clear.
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Prescription charges:DHSC increases by 30 pence - 0 views

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    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced 30 pence increase in prescription charges from £9.35 to £9.65 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. Board Chair for England at RPS, Thorrun Govind commented: "This is a kick in the teeth for people in England who are already struggling with rising bills and food prices. "Patients groups have warned that people are not collecting prescription medicines due to cost and pharmacists are seeing this worrying trend first-hand. "A Government impact assessment noted the risk of adverse effects of people not taking their medicines, resulting in future health problems for the individual, potential hospital admissions, and a subsequent cost to the NHS. "This decision seems to prioritise revenue generation over ill-health prevention and undermines the principle of an NHS free at the point of use.
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HRT prepayment scheme:37k certificates purchased - 0 views

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    The new Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) prescription pre-payment certificate (PPC) has witnessed more than 37,000 purchases both via online website and in-person in pharmacies since its launch on Saturday (1 April). As of 12pm today (4 April), 37,240 HRT PPCs have been bought online and 501 in-pharmacy, totalling 37,741 certificates. Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimated women have saved over £1.13 million in prescription charges for the year, with the average person saving £30 for a year's supply. The new prescription pre-payment certificate is also predicted to enable around 400,000 women to have cheaper access to menopause support. On the launch of the scheme on Saturday, the huge demand for the much-anticipated certificate meant some patients were unable to access the website on the morning of 1 April. "The NHS Business Service Authority has ensured that the site has been working, allowing thousands of women to continue to successfully purchase a prescription for a year's worth of hormone replacement therapy products which help treat the menopause," said DHSC. Minister for Women's Health Strategy, Maria Caulfield said: "Over 37,700 women have come forward to claim cheaper HRT this weekend alone, showing what happens when we listen to what women want.
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