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Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was raised from prescription charges in 2006-07; (175975)

(2) what the total cost was of collecting prescription charges in the last financial year.

As set out in “Department of Health Resource Accounts 2006-07”, published by The Stationary Office, on 11 October 2007, for the period April 2006 to March 2007, the revenue raised from prescription charges collected by pharmacists, appliance contractors and from prescription prepayment certificate fees was £411.7 million. This figure excludes prescription charges collected by dispensing doctors, which is not collected centrally, but remains with primary care trusts. A copy of the Resource Accounts is available in the Library.

Pharmacists, appliance contractors and dispensing doctors collect the prescription charge as part of the dispensing process. They are paid a fee for the dispensing process irrespective of whether a charge is collected. It is not possible to determine separately the cost of collecting prescription charges.