SCRAP Prescription Charges

The weblog of the Scottish Campaign to Remove All Prescription Charges. Keeping you updated on all the news about Colin Fox MSP's bill to the Scottish Parliament.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Learning from the Welsh

Colin Fox at the Welsh Assembly

Colin Fox MSP visited the Welsh Assembly to learn how Wales scrapped prescription charges.

Above is Colin with Daffyd Ellis Thomas, AM. He is the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly of Wales inn Cardiff.

The Scottish Campaign to Scrap Prescription Charges is meeting today and will be stepping up its campaign in Scotland.

posted by Alister at 1:53 pm

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

MSP Demands Drugs Bill Savings Used to Scrap Charges

News From the Scottish Campaign to Remove All Prescription charges
Wed 3rd November 2004

MSP Demands Drugs Bill Savings Used to Scrap Charges

Scottish Socialist Party MSP, Colin Fox, today called on the government to use some of the £1.8billion it has saved from its drugs bill to abolish NHS prescription charges.

Health Minister John Reid had earlier announced the NHS will save 7% on the cost of branded prescription drugs over the next 5 years following a re-negotiation of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme [PPRS].
The contract between the government and drugs companies comes up for renewal every five years. Mr Reid said ‘The agreement delivers savings of more than £1.8billion. I want to put that directly into front line services.’

Mr Fox believes some of the money should be used to scrap the charges patients pay for their medicines. He said
‘Across Britain more than 700,000 patients were forced to go without their medicines last year because they could not afford the £6.40 charge.
[See below for sources.]
Last week Scottish Health Minister Andy Kerr told me more than 27,000 people on benefits alone in Scotland did not qualify for free treatment.
The £1.8billion of savings announced today offers the government the chance to end a serious injustice at the heart of the NHS. One which sees people denied the drugs they need because they can’t afford them.
In Scotland the cost of abolition would be around £40million, across Britain £400m. This is an appropriate use of this windfall.
The Welsh Assembly has already voted to abolish the charges there.
I urge John Reid to keep a promise the NHS made to every patient in the country i.e. to provide universal free health care. Nearly a million patients do not currently qualify for exemptions and therefore have to pay in full. This represents a promise broken every day.’

Mr Fox has a Bill to abolish prescription charges which will shortly appear in front of the Scottish Parliament. ENDS

Note To Editor
Citizens Advice Bureau report ‘Unhealthy Charges’ 2003 and Office of Fair Trading.

posted by Alister at 2:34 pm