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Prescription Charges

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many free prescriptions were granted on grounds of low income to (a) those receiving supplementary benefit and family income supplement and (b) to those receiving neither supplementary benefit nor family income supplement in each year since 1970.

made; what are the total sums involved; and what were the corresponding figures in the past five years.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd December 1976; Vol. 921, c. 312], gave the following information:The table below gives as much of the information requested as is available:

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 14th December 1976, Vol. 922, c. 629], gave the following information:Estimates of numbers of persons entitled to exemption from prescription charges on grounds of low income, and numbers of exemption certificates granted and refunds made are given in the table below. No estimate of cost is available because the number of prescriptions

Number of exemption certificates granted (Note 1)Number of refunds made (Node 3)Estimated number of persons eligible for free prescriptions
Supp. BFISOtherSupp. BFISOtherSupp. BFISOther
Year(Estimated number of persons covered)low income
(Note 2)(Note 2)(Note 5)(Note 5)(Note 2)(Note 2)(Note 4)
19701,3961816Not available111,396Not available
19751,41515115961,415151Not yet available
1. Certificates cover the family head and any dependants.
2. Estimates based on number of heads of families and their dependants not already exempt on age grounds.
3. These cover refunds made to heads of families and dependants.
4. The estimate of the number of persons eligible for exemption for 1973 and 1974 is based on Family Expenditure Survey data. It takes no account of whether or not those eligible in fact require prescriptions as there is no information on this point.
5. Because of changes in the prescription charges scheme and other factors comparisons between the annual figures in the table would be misleading.