Daily Poll April 1

Have your say

How much do you think we should be charged for prescriptions?

England is now the only part of the UK still charging for some prescriptions after Scotland joined Northern Ireland and Wales in abolishing the fees.

About half a million people in Scotland should benefit from the change brought in by the SNP government.

It comes on the same day charges per item rise in England by 20p to £7.40.

The NHS in England raises more than £450m a year from the charges but some doctors and patients’ groups want free prescriptions across the UK.

The British Medical Association and the Patients Association have both campaigned for the change.

Some 90 per cent of items dispensed in England are exempt from charges but the NHS says the income from the remaining 10% would pay for 18,000 nurses.

Prescription charges have been falling in Scotland for the last three years and stood at £3 before today’s change, which will mean the Scottish government losing out on £57m a year.

Under devolution, Wales was the first part of the UK to make prescriptions free - four years ago - and Northern Ireland followed in 2010.

Prescriptions were free for all when the NHS was set up in 1948.