The Prescription Charges Coalition has issued a statement in response to proposals from the Barker Commission which recommend some fundamental changes to prescription charges in order to raise a potential additional £1 billion revenue for the NHS. These include the introduction of a flat rate £2.50 charge ("equivalent to the cost of a pint of beer or about that for a posh coffee"), the removal of all medical and low income exemptions and a cap on expenditure.
At the same time, the report rejects the introduction of additional charges, for example, for visits to GPs or for specific treatments or procedures, on the basis that these could deter people from seeking medical care and undermine the fundamental principles of the NHS.
The Prescription Charges Coalition do support their recognition that the current system is deeply flawed and their call for a review of prescription charges, as well as their acknowledgement that charges of this kind are likely to result in barriers to accessing treatment.
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