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Sunday, 01 April 2018 06:14

SEVEN YEARS OF FREE PRESCRIPTIONS SAVES SCOTS AVERAGE OF £1,140

TAXPAYERS SAVING £160 A YEAR THANKS TO UNIVERSAL POLICY
 
Scottish taxpayers are saving an average of over £160 a year on their prescriptions compared to patients south of the border, SPICe calculations reveal.
 

On average, Scots take out 19 prescriptions per year. If these were charged at the English rate of £8.60 each, people in Scotland would be out of pocket by an average of £1,143.80 since prescription charges were abolished in 2011.
 
Commenting, SNP MSP Emma Harper said:
 
“The SNP is proud of our record on free prescriptions – ensuring that ordinary Scots who are sick or living with long-term illnesses do not have to choose between medication and other necessities, like feeding their families or heating their homes.

“Alongside scrapping tuition fees, ending parking charges at NHS-run hospital car parks, removing bridge tolls, protecting free eye tests, investing in childcare and building even more affordable housing – we’re demonstrating a firm commitment to providing public services that are free at the point of use in Scotland.
 
“While the Tories at Westminster charge sick people a small fortune for vital medication and the Tories at Holyrood campaign for tax cuts for the wealthiest, the SNP’s flagship free prescriptions policy removes a significant financial burden from adults in Scotland every year.”

Data on volume of prescriptions in Scotland available at: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Prescribing-and-Medicines/Publications/2016-06-28/Volume_and_Cost_(Scotland)_2016.xlsx?96561176) 
 
Rise in NHS England prescription charge announced at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nhs-prescription-charges-from-april-2017 
 
New NHS England prescription charge x Average number of prescriptions per head in Scotland = Average cost saving to Scottish patients
£8.60 x 19 = £163.40

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