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Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescription penalty notices were issued in each financial year since 1997-98 for which figures are available; and how much was collected each year in penalty charges. (194902)

From August 2001 to March 2003, the Prescription Pricing Authority undertook prescription penalty charge functions as per the provisions of the Health Act 1999.

From April 2003 to March 2005, the national health service Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) undertook these functions.

From April 2005, these functions were devolved to primary care trusts with the CFSMS providing a central support process to facilitate verification checks. Detailed information on recoveries since April 2005 is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The number of penalties and the amounts recovered are shown in the following table.

Penalties issued

Original prescription charge (£)

Penalties and surcharges (£)

August 2001 to March 2005

160,000

550,000

2,400,000

2005-06

21,837

2006-07

25,029

Data for the period August 2001 to March 2005 is not available by year. The figures given are recovery figures for the original prescription charge and the associated penalties and surcharges.