The cost of dispensing free prescriptions to those aged 60 and over in England in the community is estimated at between £300 and £350 million for the year 2008-09, where cost is assumed to be prescription charge revenue.
This estimate is based on Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates and on an assumption that approximately 70 per cent. of those aged 60 or over would be exempt via another route due to, for example, being a recipient of a qualifying mean-tested benefit or having a medical exemption certificate. The cost is calculated by estimating that 50 per cent. of those having to pay would purchase a prepayment certificate and the balance would pay a charge per item.