POLL: Should free prescription age be increased to state pension age?

Jeremy Vine: Caller slams calls to scrap free over 60s prescriptions

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The UK Government has continued its consultation over the free prescription age and whether it should be increased to align with the state pension age. Residents in England over the age of 60 are currently exempt from the £9.35 NHS prescriptions charge but this could be hiked up to match the state pension age of 66. So do you support a rise or should it remain at 60? Vote in our poll.

The Government argues that many people aged 60 to 65 are still in employment and can therefore afford to cover the cost. But older people with multiple health conditions may face paying hundreds of pounds each year for their medication.

A petition, with over 46,000 signatures, calling for the free prescription age to remain at 60 was debated by MPs on Monday, March 6. The petition read: “Over 60s are generally more susceptible to health issues, and after pension age, have less money available to pay large sums for repeat prescriptions.”

Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne told the House of Commons: “It is little surprise that the Government’s decision to consult on scrapping free NHS prescriptions for the over-60s will be of profound concern to many people already struggling to make ends meet.”

Independent MP Margaret Ferrier commented on how there has been a “significant increase in the number of patients not collecting their prescriptions because they simply cannot afford them”.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Neil O’Brien said no decision had been made yet to bring the proposals forward. He explained: “The petition calls on the government to protect free NHS prescriptions for all over-60s. We value our older members of society, and we recognise their social care and health needs.”

So what do YOU think? Should the NHS free prescription age be increased? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


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