Tories plan to hit people over 60 with prescription charges

Prescription: if you’re over 60 and you need one of these – especially if it’s on a regular basis – then the price is set to skyrocket under a new Tory plan to make money for private healthcare firms.

Is this some of the government policy Lord Bethell has been discussing on his private email account, to keep it away from pesky Freedom of Information requests?

The Conservatives are planning to raise the age at which people may receive free prescriptions in England from 60 to 66, in line with the state pension age.

That’s the wrong yardstick, of course.

Firstly, prescriptions should be free to everybody because we all pay into the National Health Service via our taxes. If you are in England and you pay for prescriptions, you are literally paying twice for your medicine.

Secondly, if free prescriptions must be rationed, then in a country where many people are extremely poor, it makes sense to provide them to those who are most likely to need them – meaning, if they must be pegged to age, that they should become available at the age when most people start to suffer the illnesses associated with age.

The problem is that this is not a matter of medical need; it is about giving more money to the private companies that the Tory government has allowed to flood into the health service in order to make a profit from your pain.

That’s around £300 million per year, according to Lord Bethell – around £46.75 for an average person without need for regular medication – or £130.90 for people who need more than 12 prescriptions a year. And that’s at current prices which are sure to increase.

It’s a typical Tory back-of-a-fag-packet idea, based on a desire to rake in cash for people who don’t need it, from people who desperately do – but aren’t being given a choice about whether to give it up.

In other words: extortion.

Ministers are consulting on raising the age when people become eligible for free prescriptions in England to 66-years-old – but pharmacists branded the plan ‘unacceptable’

Source: People over 60 could be hit by prescription charges under new Government plans – Mirror Online

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6 thoughts on “Tories plan to hit people over 60 with prescription charges

  1. che

    Living in Wales like we do Mike, it’s free. I’ve lived 8n England before moving here, and I know which health service I prefer.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, the article is about prescriptions in England, as paragraph two makes perfectly clear.

      And, living in Wales, I am aware that we get free prescriptions!

  2. Miss Kim Holman

    I am 64 years old and have already been robbed of my pension, now they want to take away my free prescription!!!! This is a disgrace once again we are not given much notification. The right way to do this would be if you are turning 60 in the future then you will have to pay not keep taking from people who are already struggling. I will have to make a decision as to which medicine I take as I cannot afford the charges. I take 5 medicines at £8.60 each will cost me £43 a month I dont even spend that on food. Havent the Government already hit the pensioners enough without doing this as well. It us women who are suffering, born in the fifties and being cheated out of everything I should be entitled to!!!! Scotland dont pay for their prescriptions perhaps I have to move there!!!

  3. El Dee

    Prior to Scotland’s prescription charges becoming free for all I had queried how this was feasible – I thought the cost would be astronomical. But then I spoke to a woman who worked for the department who oversaw the collection of prescription charges. She said that doing away with the charge would actually SAVE money. She went on further to say that the majority of drugs prescribed are to people who don’t pay ie long term illnesses who either have exemption or are on benefits and the elderly. The small amount of drugs prescribed to the rest brought in monies that didn’t nearly cover the cost of collecting them. I can’t remember the saving but it wasn’t small.

    I can see that this will draw in MORE money than is already being taken in but a higher percentage of those at that age are likely to have conditions for which they are exempt or have already succumbed to illnesses that prevent them from working. Meaning a smaller return from this age group than any other.

    Rather than adopt the measures being taken elsewhere in the UK now that they’ve seen it saves money they have gone down the route of making things MORE difficult for those who will have to pay where they didn’t before. The other positive effect of free prescriptions is to encourage people to take the medicines that they have been prescribed. My daughter is in England and works zero hours contracts, she has asthma medication she MUST take but also must pay for. She struggles with paying out for this. I can easily imagine that many will feel unable to pay for medicines and won’t bother, thinking their illness not serious enough. This undoubtedly leads to poorer long term health and greater costs for the NHS – if we think in purely monetary terms.

    It is for these reasons that I think that this policy isn’t really driven by money so much as right wing ideals. They think we all just ‘pop to the doctor’ and get ‘lots of drugs’ at THEIR expense so we can ‘loll about’ being ill and such. If they put the cost up then that’ll ‘stop the malingerers’ This is typical of right wing victim blaming and will suit their strategy of bashing anyone who didn’t go to Eton and isn’t a millionaire.

    There are other reasons why the Labour Party didn’t adopt this policy for years but I won’t go into that, they ARE behind it now – unless Starmer has binned that too?

  4. Grey Swans

    I have written in the government consultation, that from age 50 we, in UK, are the most chronic sick and / or disabled working class of any rich country on earth.

    We get more than one ailment, so needing more medication than a single prescription, plus various NHS supplies beyond medicine. Each item would be separately prescription charged, not just a single prescription price.

    It is, anyway, unjust that Wales and Scotland have free prescriptions for all ages, and England means tests it, or gives it free only for life sustaining medication, or people on benefit. So costing more in admin in England.

    Greece does not have free prescriptions and that bankrupt country has older people having to choose between Diabetes or Heart tablets bought that month.

    India has profiteering on medicines even during this pandemic, for private charged medicines (practically no NHS), and now there is a secondary fatal fungal disease killing people because they cannot afford the
    over-charged medicine for it. Or insufficiently gained medicine means loss of an eye, to those who can afford a private surgery. Death who cannot.

    This is the last pensioner benefit left to men and women from age 60, which 1950s pension campaigners dared not speak about so politicians did not remember it still existed.

    To tell people that the first victims will have a transition, is a lie, as known by the 1950s born ladies, as the transition was only to the ladies who had a pension age rise from 60 to 62. 60 to 64, 65 and 66 is not a transition, but the full and fatal pension age rise, foretold to be fatal back in 2005 just for a 2 year pension age rise.

    The I Daniel Blakes from age 60 were created by women’s pension age rise, and killed men and women, from the same welfare deaths to all ages, giving us amongst the highest austerity early death rate increase amongst rich countries since 2011.

    Be assured, that this is the Tories, right wing Labour and Lib Dems, continuing their discrimination against older people, that has reigned since at least 1978 onwards. Add being female and over 50 and the discrimination is total from society and from government / politics.

    Admin Grey Swans pension group seeking help to start Over 50s party, subtitled From Cradle to Grave.

    At least now we know, proof is young people don’t vote (Hartlepool only 450 votes, Chesham only 197 votes, for new parties on the Left with nil pension policies) and that Labour to win against George Galloway (another new party with no pension policies) they had to hide his election posters from council street furniture, and smear him.

    Over 50s party is from pregnant mum to 100 plus.

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