Price tag on prescriptions to aid dismantling of the NHS


Why do you think Jeremy Hunt wants to put a price tag on prescription medicines, along with the line “Funded by the UK taxpayer”?

Do you really think it’s to achieve the stated aim, to “reduce waste by reminding people of the cost of medicine, but also improve patient care by boosting adherence to drug regimes”? If so, please think again.

The intention is to encourage healthy people to resent paying for expensive medicines that are taken by the very ill who – they’ll believe – don’t put any money towards it themselves.

Hunt is hoping that this will nudge people away from supporting the National Health Service and towards private care, with everybody having to pay for their own healthcare, no matter whether they are able to do so or not.

It’s a suicidal proposition, as Harry Leslie Smith (who remembers life before the NHS) will happily testify.

But then, the Tories convinced enough people to vote for them that they managed to get a Parliamentary majority in this year’s election, so it seems there is much that is suicidal about the people of the UK.

In any case, Hunt is hoping people forget that the vast majority of UK tax is paid indirectly, via VAT and other methods – and sick people contribute to that form of taxation just as much as the healthy.

Hunt also fails to take into account the fact that he, also, is funded by the UK taxpayer – with his Cabinet ministerial salary of £145,000+.

Perhaps we should label him, to remind everybody that they pay for his silliness as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. david edwards July 3, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply


    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      He is – in the classical definition of the term. He does the Tory thing, no matter what.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) July 3, 2015 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Whether that is his intention or not it would probably be the case with a few non-human people but even most Tories would object (I think and hope) to such a scheme.

    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Think again.

  3. Mark Rust July 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I think that Funded by the tax payer would be more appropriate on all Government advertising and expenses claims forms instead of trying to divide us. after all we pay their wages and they give our money away on a daily basis to other countries.

    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Why concentrate on giving money to other countries – that’s where THEY want you to look.
      If you want to ask questions, ask about the subsidy to the City of London, when it is already vastly profitable.

      • Ian Buchan July 4, 2015 at 12:46 am - Reply

        Wholeheartedly agree Mick London and the South East have ever been subsidised by the rest of the Country. Most Trade coming into and leaving the UK must go through that route whether by Land Sea or Air.

  4. hugosmum70 July 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    the PDSA do a similar thing. even though you donate what you can when you take a sick pet there. after they’ve been seen you get a receipt giving you what it WOULD have cost you had you taken them to a private vet. designed to get you to pay more in donations it actually makes you feel guilty that you couldn’t afford to go to a private vet. i pay insurance for my dog plus a set monthly sum on top to a scheme so he gets his annual jabs, flea treatments, 2 check ups a year plus nail clipping if needed. recently he needed some teeth out. my insurance doesn’t cover dental treatment plus had it done so, because hes now over 9yrs old i would have had to pay the excess of £99 plus 36% of what the insurance would have had to pay had they covered dental
    (another £91). i had to take him to PDSA. treatment nil but to get there cost me £45return journey (initial check up) plus the day of the op 2 double journeys =£90. I cannot use buses and have no transport of my own. total £135 but still got that receipt making me feel guilty even though they got £10 first time and £15 second.only saved me £40 but its there and i knew i wouldn’t be faced with any extra costs if they found anything else needed know they have financial problems (just like the NHS have.. but you can only do what you can do. and before anyone says anything about we shouldn’t have pets if we cant afford them, my Dr suggested i got my dog to help me walk a bit more and help stop the depression after a heart attack plus i could afford much more 8 yrs ago when i got him, now thanks to the state of this country and things going up n up. its more difficult to keep paying insurance. etc. so you have to work out the pro’s n cons. i am trying to say. people on benefits and low incomes feel guilty enough with all the hate hype aimed at them without being made to feel more guilty for being ill or disabled or unemployed.

  5. NMac July 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Jeremy Hunt, the character who, when caught red-handed embezzling expenses, could only come up with the childish excuse that he didn’t understand the system. Another one who should have been properly investigated and prosecuted.

  6. leonc1963 July 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    With any luck this vile stunt will backfire on that fool and people will come to realise how the NHS is ripped off by Drug Corps and aided by the Govt due to them falling over in their rush to pay these prices – but ill not bank on that.

  7. Florence July 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    An audience member on QT last night got a rousing show of support by the audience when she told “mis-spelled” Hunt that HE was funded by tax-payers, and that every politician should have it written on their clothing. That the Queen too should be “badged” as tax-payer funded.

    This has Nudge Unit fingerprints all over it. What are they going to do in Wales, where all our prescriptions are free? We already know that we are protected by our regional government – but for how long? It’s a reminder that we must throw our support behind the Greens and their Bill to reverse the 2012 Act, and return the NHS to it’s principles and it’s owners – us, the people.

    • Cubey July 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      By the time the greens get anywhere it’ll be to late.

      • Florence July 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

        The bill is being put forward in the HoC – so we should lobby our MPs to support it. The issue of the Greens as a national political party is different thing altogether, and I agree that in 2015 they are not a major influence in the wider sense.

  8. jess July 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Will Jeremy *unt be telling us tax-payers the cost of the extra printing he has ‘commissioned’?

    It’s not as if he’ll be funding it out of his own pocket is it?

    Or has he found sponsorship for his silly scheme?

  9. Jonathan Wilson July 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    And how many hundreds of millions will it take to change and update all the PC software that produces the scripts… how many millions to update a medicines file with a price/cost and distribute it to every pharmacy?

    A rough guess would be probably 500 million for the software change, 200 million to roll it out, and 100-200 million a year to keep it updated.

    That’s why nothing will be done till 2016, cos hunt the ***t has no idea if or how it will be implemented. Like IDS he believes that because he wishes it, it will be so, and hang the expense or being told “it can’t ever work”.

    • Ian Buchan July 4, 2015 at 12:52 am - Reply

      Jonathon would that be a ” Conservative Estimate “

  10. hstorm July 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Strictly speaking, it’s not exactly true that it’s funded by the taxpayer. It’s actually funded by the NATIONAL INSURANCE payer, and although I’m quibbling somewhat, is it not a little disturbing that a Health Secretary doesn’t appear to know that?

  11. FibbingIsARationalResponse July 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    I think what bothers me most about the Tories now (and there is so much to choose from) is the way they are desperately encouraging fear and hatred of others to stay in power themselves. Not only are they the party of elitism, they are the party of social divides. This is what inequality means, even more than the economic element: divide … and conquer. Try reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” for an indication of where that can go in times of trouble.

  12. tommaz jay July 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Stupid Hunt, When electronic prescriptions go 100% there will be nothing to write the price on, unless they intend to tattoo the number on our forearm. Now that sounds like a master plan.

  13. nab (@nab98846993) July 3, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    They don’t care about people dying, genocide is in the game plan of the club of rome.

  14. Thomas July 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    This government will never be contented until it has ruined the NHS and people have to pay for all their medical treatment.

  15. Ian July 3, 2015 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    This also going to have the add benefit (to warped Tory minds, at least) of creating even more enmity towards sick and disabled people. Win/win for the Conservative party.

    I have a long term illness and cost the NHS a fortune; one bag of dialysis fluid is £40 charged to the NHS (by a private company, naturally) and I use 5 of those a day… Not sure how this is supposed to make me feel but it doesn’t help at all as I’m already acutely aware of how much I cost. People like me really can do without this added stress.

  16. Jane Jacques July 3, 2015 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    I actually think this is a good idea. Medication is wasted eg through repeat presciptions being ordered and not used eg not up dated, or medicines not being finished, and I would hope it is this which is being tackled. I have also read that letters will be sent out for patients who miss appointments, and how much that has cost the NHS. Again this may also help prompt some patients who do not realise there is a cost involved. I would hope this comes under patient information/awareness.

    Years ago one of my medicines that I used at the time cost nearly £100 per month, free to me on the NHS. To realise the cost associated is no bad thing.

    I work in blood transfusion. We work on good stock control and allocation and aim to maintain a precious resource, why should prescription costs and patient appointments be any different?

    • Ian July 4, 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

      The reasons you agree with this are red herrings. Opened and partly used medicines cannot be used by other patients for obvious reasons, the answer to that issue, if issue it is, is smaller amounts in each prescription when possible, though running back and forth to the chemist every day or two when ill would be a pain in the arse. Unopened and unused medication should be able to be returned to the pharmacy and used by someone else.

      • Jane Jacques July 4, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

        Once they have left the Pharmacy medicines cannot be returned for reuse as there is no audit trail of their storage conditions,

    • Florence July 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Because it is intended to shame to sick, because they’re sick. They want to basically remove Sickness & Disability benefits other than for those in the Support group, down to the same basic level as Job Seekers Allowance, and put anyone signed off sick on the same footing – looking for work, subject to sanctions – while actually medically unfit to work. Perhaps that too is “reasonable”?

      This is another blow to those struggling with Mental Health issues – 40% of sickness benefit claims – who will also be subjected to forced quasi-psychological treatments – under threat of benefit sanction – which is basic NLP brain washing to make people think their illness and their unemployment is indeed their own fault. This is just the ticket to make anyone with MH issues to (a) stop medication (b) stop claiming benefits and (c) if IDS is successful, to bugger off, and stop costing the “tax-payer” anything at all,(possibly kill themselves, as already happens to those subjected to standard DWP treatment). Still good for you?

      And pensioners who get free medicines and at last count accounted for 70% of prescriptions, are the most sensitive to being accused of being spongers – after a lifetime’s work and raising families, and being part of our lives and communities – they will take this to heart and maybe stop getting medicines they need to stay alive & well. Then they die, early, of treatable illnesses. You’re OK with that too?

      Oh yes, and it makes people who don’t really know about hardship, and the current dismantling of the social security safety net that our rich and apparently “caring” society is claimed to still have, it makes them feel all righteous about this government officially sanctioned bullying of people who dare to be ill. That’s no better than people who kick my wheelchair in the supermarket or hiss insults and put me in fear, because this is now officially approved behaviour too, because in a wheelchair I am now seen as a fraud who should be working, and a cost too much through the benefit system, by those who have no idea of my personal or financial circumstances. Just pure hatred, and this is another nail in the same coffin of the welfare state, and millions who are being cast out from our midst to sink without trace. Just to save money so the savings can be spent on inheritance tax and upper tax bands for the rich. Are you one who will benefit from this? I guess not, but they’ve got your support for this drip drip drip propaganda that is working to divide us into deserving and undeserving of life.

      • Jane Jacques July 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

        I hate to disapoint you Florence but I too actually have a disability, I take meds and use the NHS a lot. and have a daughter with a disability, claiming the full range of disability benefits, struggling with her ESA renewal as I type. She uses a disability scooter to get around outside. I hate Osbourne, Cameron and Duncan-Smith. I am a card carrying member of the Labour Party, gutted as anyone when Ed didn’t win.. I also think NLP is a discredited theory. However dispite your claims of armageddon I think there is the basis of an idea here which might work.

        No matter who runs the NHS, public or private cash is an issue. iF money can be saved on some unwanted prescriptions, and I know people who do not update their prescriptions and continue to get medicines they no longer use, then OK.

        Oh, and I will alway fight for Social Justice, but I will not see a bogeyman around every corner.

  17. Ian Buchan July 4, 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Jane .. we give blood happily and freely without charge or question………. which is most precious?

    • Jane Jacques July 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      The cost of a unit of blood to the hospital is about £120, a unit of platelets is more , frozen plasma is less. These are pure testing, processing and handling costs. There will be further costs once hospital testing and handling costs are accounted for. The blood transfusion process is a wonderful thing, the whole process is great from start to finish. All involved in the process are appreciative of the donors who give so freely, but the final product has a cost which fortunately is not and hopefully never will be charged to the patients.

      • Mike Sivier July 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        … but will have a price tag applied to it, along with the words “Funded by the UK taxpayer” if Jeremy Hunt has his way.

  18. hayfords July 4, 2015 at 1:09 am - Reply

    It was interesting to see on the news tonight GPs and patients saying that they thought it was a good idea.

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Yes – I was discussing it with friends last night and they thought it was a good idea too… right up to the point where I explained what was really going on.
      Now they are dead set against it.

  19. tiddk July 4, 2015 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Hunt was picked up on this labelling issue by a GP during Question Time last week. Most of the audience seemed to back the GP. Another audience member who said “Maybe we should label all you MPs as PAID FOR BY THE UK TAXPAYER” got a large round of applause.

    Hopefully *unt’s suggestion will bite the dust at an early stage.

  20. Jim Round July 4, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Didn’t they say the NHS was close to being a religion in the UK?
    Any attempt to dismantle it would be a huge vote loser?
    Well, obviously not.
    Briefly saw a “report” into how the NHS lagged behind other nations.
    Don’t know who authored the report, but wouldn’t be surprised if The Tories had a hand in it somewhere.

  21. Dave Rowlands July 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    There is nothing wrong with letting the public now how much it cost’s to provide a publicly funded service, notice I said “Public” and not “Tax Payer”, children pay taxes out of their pocket money in VAT on the things they buy. If the government feels that this is the way to go then let it happen for all things the government spend public money on, including the wasted billions of pounds on their vanity projects. There is nothing wrong with knowing the costs of anything as long as it includes the costs of their administration.

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      So the label should say “Funded by the UK public”, then?

  22. atrumbell July 4, 2015 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    The moment I heard about the displaying of charges and reminding people of the cost of a missed appointment my mind went to the following blog

    It is from 5 years ago but now very prescient. It sent a chill down my spine.

    We are now on a very slippery slope.

    March 1914. Exhibition of the Reichsausschuss für Volksgesundheit (Reich Committee for National Health)

    “Three-year old boy, deaf, crippled and completely idiotic. The nursing costs amounting to 8 Marks a day”

    I dread the posters and signs that will accompany these announcements!

  23. hayfords July 4, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    There have been posters about missed appointments in surgeries for years (certainly more than 20 years). In my local surgery they have a note by the reception with details of how many people did not turn up the previous week

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      I’m actually in agreement with the idea of notifying people of the cost of their missed appointments – because it is something that would be between the GP surgery and the patient, and nobody else could be involved, and because it would be a matter where the patient should be shamed, for wasting their doctor’s time.
      It’s a different situation from the issue of price tags on prescription medicines and it is nefarious of the government to lump the two together.

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