Free prescriptions policy

By Richard Lewis at August 31st, 2012

Once again the increase in medicines dispensed in Wales has opened the floodgates for the anti free prescriptions camp to have another go at the system.

Free prescriptions are a long term investment by the Welsh Government in managing chronic conditions and improving health and ultimately helping to reduce the cost and pressure on the NHS.

The fact that more prescriptions are being dispensed is an indicator of previously unmet needs now being addressed.

Improved methods of diagnosis and pro active medicine has contributed to the rise in dispensing.

Obviously there is an additional cost to providing free prescriptions, but it has not provided an opportunity for people to inappropriately claim medication.

In the previous system, we already had substantial numbers of patients that were exempt, and the majority were elderly with chronic diseases.

There is no evidence to support the charge that the free prescription scheme contributes to the year on year increase.

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