NHS prescription charges from April 2022 confirmed but free prescription age fears remain

Mr Argar confirmed there would be no changes to the current prescription price, despite the fee usually rising every April. However, a larger concern for Britons still is whether over 60s will lose their free prescription entitlement.

Prescription charges usually increase in April, with 2021 seeing a 20p rise to the current £9.35 charge. 

Amid the cost of living crisis many were concerned that their prescribed medication would be the bill that pushed them over the brink into poverty.

The health minister has confirmed the £9.35 per item charge for medication will remain.

However, this confirmation may only be good news for those far below the state pension age.

There have been proposals to increase the free prescription entitlement age in England from 60 to the state pension age, which is currently 66.

The suggestion has a transformation option which would see those currently aged 60 and over retaining the free prescription they currently receive.

However, Britons aged 59 would have to wait six years longer than their slightly older counterparts to receive the same entitlement. 

Additionally, the state pension age is consistently reviewed and changed as life expectancy in the UK does the same. 


This would mean those in the middle of their careers could be waiting far longer than six years to receive their free prescriptions, if state pension age increased.

The second option for phasing in this proposal which would see it having immediate effect, forcing millions out of pocket overnight.

An estimated 2.4 million Britons would be affected by these changes. 

Charities such as Age UK have advocated for these free prescriptions noting that changing the exemption age would likely lead to higher costs for the NHS.

PPCs currently cost £30.25 for three months and £108.10 for 12 months, which would cut the costs slightly for those with multiple prescriptions in this time period. 

However, Britons with only one prescription item needed per month would only be charged £28.05 for three months’ worth of prescriptions using the ordinary charges. 

Some have also raised the point that this age group may not be able to afford the upfront fees required to purchase the certificate. 

Britons who are on a low income could also apply for the NHS Low Income scheme which, if successful, will offer support for medical costs.

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