Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NHS Double Drugs Bill scam the er facts?

keep taking

Noticing that apart from The News of the World, no other newspaper appears to have picked up the story that Department of Health is issuing guidelines to doctors to only prescribe medicines for a month at a time instead of two months, which has the effect of doubling prescription costs for patients, I thought I’d check their website.

For some reason on their press releases area I could not for find a reference to heartless b*st*rds, doubling the cost of medicines for patients or anything similar, so I gave a ring to their press office, to see if they could elucidate.

My question was something to the effect, could you tell me if its true that doctors are being told to only prescribe medicines for 28 days, I think their answer is evasive bull anyway see what you think (email text below) , perhaps News of the World got it wrong. They could have just said something like yes that is correct or no of course not we wouldn’t dare exploit patients (well only if they use car parks or want to make telephone calls or watch telly).


"Dear Tony

A Department of Health spokesperson said:“Wasted medicines cost the NHS over £100m per year – that is money that could be spent on patient care. It is therefore appropriate for GPs to only provide the required amount of drugs to each patient.

“While many clinicians routinely write prescriptions for 28 days, in cases where patients have stable long-term conditions, and can manage their stocks of medicines effectively, prescriptions for longer periods can be
written and made available.

“The Department of Health has commissioned research into medicines waste and the complex and varied reasons why people don’t take their medicines as intended, which will report later this year.”



Department of Health"

See earlier story


  1. In the general pit of "waste" that is this Labour Government £100 million is peanuts.

    I have 2 inhalers that I need to manage my asthma, I asked for 2 of each on every prescription to try and save me some cash, from time to time I get told that I can only have 1 of each at which point I normally kick off to such a degree that the GP increases it back to 2 just to get me out fo the surgery.

  2. People (under 60's) with long term needs can get a prepayment card (33.90 for 4 months, 93.20 for 12) and then it does not matter whether you only get a prescription for 28 days at a time. It also does not matter how many items you need. My surgery has only been giving 28 days for at least the last 10 years. Maybe 28 days is least wasteful. The money saved on prescriptions will be spent elsewhere by the local Health services.

  3. According to the NHS website...

    "NHS charges
    From 1 April 2008, charges will be:

    Prescription: £7.10
    12-month Prepayment Certificate (PPC): £102.50
    3-month PPC: £27.85"

    A pre-pay card cost is higher than the cost of my yearly prescription charges if the doctor prescribes what I want in the quantities that I want.

  4. Some folk are entitled to reduced prescription charges or free prescriptions. Details are available at:

  5. The point is those who already take prescriptions are in effect paying a health tax and this a doubling of this tax.

    I'm still waiting for the department of health to either confirm what is the truth.