Proposals to raise the age at which people are entitled to free prescriptions have been called a bogus “thoughtless” economy by a coalition of charities.
The Prescription Charges Coalition has warned that the short-term gains from people paying for their prescriptions longer will actually cost the NHS more money in the longer term.
It comes as ministers consider proposals to increase the age at which people are entitled to free prescriptions.
Currently, people aged 60 and over can get their prescriptions for free from the NHS in England.
But officials are consulting on whether or not this should be increased to align with the state’s retirement age, at the moment it is 66 with further increases planned for the future. .
The consultation, which ends Sept. 2, says people aged 60 to 65 can stay at work and be “economically active and better able to meet the cost of their prescriptions.”
But the Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 organizations representing a number of patient groups, said the price hike was a “false economy.”
He added that the proposals could disproportionately affect people with degenerative health conditions, multiple health conditions, those from diverse communities with lower life expectancies and those living in areas where the average salary is less than that of other regions.