Bodies call for temporary removal of the prescription charge 

Bodies call for temporary removal of the prescription charge 

April 24, 2020

PSNC, the British Medical Association (BMA) and Dispensing Doctors Association (DDA) have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, to highlight some of the challenges and risks faced by those dispensing and accessing prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a joint letter, the three representative bodies have urged Mr Hancock to take action to reduce these risks and have recommended the introduction of a temporary removal of the prescription charge altogether to allow for a smoother and safer prescription procedure for all. Whilst recognising the Government’s intention to extend the period of validity for exemption certificates as a positive step, this alone is not enough to significantly protect patients and frontline staff and is greatly undermined if patients continue to have to pay to access their prescription.

Patients collecting prescriptions are required to provide both a signature and a payment (unless the patient has an exemption certificate). This interaction puts both the dispenser and patient at increased risk through unnecessary contact. Dispensers will also come into significant face to face contact with a number of people throughout their working day and are just as at risk as other key workers, including their colleagues working in hospitals across the UK.

The temporary removal of the prescription charge would limit unnecessary contact, reducing the level of risk for both dispensers and patients.

Read the letter to Matt Hancock from BMA, DDA and PSNC

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