As the cost of prescriptions rises and waiting times increase across the NHS, more people are looking for ways to save time and money. While there
As the cost of prescriptions rises and waiting times increase across the NHS, more people are looking for ways to save time and money. While there is a legal and growing online pharmacy market in the UK, there are also fraudulent websites posing as registered pharmacies.
To help explain what people can expect, Rich Quelch from pharmaceutical experts, Origin has provided some insight.
He said: “Using a medicine issued by a fake online pharmacy is potentially very dangerous, as drugs might be out of date, diluted, unapproved or fake.
“If you find a prescription-only medicine for sale online without a prescription, this is illegal.
“You will also never be asked to email a prescription to an online pharmacy as proof.
“Instead, it should be supplied by a health professional on your behalf.”
Britons should always check for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) internet pharmacy logo which guarantees they are buying from a safe and genuine site.
They can also use the GPhC’s register to check if a website is run by a registered pharmacy and is legally allowed to sell medicines.
He warned people to not be tempted by “spam emails advertising cheap medicine.”
He added: “If something looks too good to be true, it usually is.”
In England, the NHS prescription charge rose to £9.35 per prescription item in 2021 and it’s expected this will rise again on April 1.
Combined with other changes being made such as the energy bill increase, and National Insurance, millions of Britons will be impacted.
The Government has not yet confirmed how much NHS prescription charges will rise by on April 1.
However, recent research by Chemist4U shows prescriptions have risen by an average of 2.35 percent year-on-year.
If this trend continues, people can expect NHS prescription charges to rise from £9.35 to £9.57 from April, he explained.
Overall, in the past 10 years, Britons have seen their NHS prescription charges go up by 26.35 percent.
The research also suggests over-the-counter medications could cost £13 by 2035.
In 2018/19, England raised £576 million through the prescription charge, equal to 0.5 percent of the NHS resource budget.
Mr Quelch explained that there has been speculation that come April 1, the Government may make changes to the age threshold in which free prescriptions are offered to the over 60s in England, up from the current 60 years old to 66.
This means those aged 60-65 will have to pay the full prescription charge if they don’t meet other eligibility criteria.
This is an estimated 2.4 million people who would have to pay £9.35 or more for their prescriptions now.