Pharmacists are worried about the impact on patients in the wake of increases in NHS prescription costs.

On Wednesday, May 1, the cost of prescriptions increased from £9.65 per item to £9.90.

Some Ipswich pharmacists say even such a small rise could prove impactful. 

Anwar Miah, a pharmacist based on Woodbridge Road said: "This is a barrier for people who may really need the medicines but cannot afford it.

"Even though some may consider the rise fairly small, just 25p, it can have a bad impact on the most vulnerable people in our society."

Ipswich Star: Price for prescription rose by 25p on Wednesday, May 1Price for prescription rose by 25p on Wednesday, May 1

Along with the 25p increase, prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) - which cover multiple NHS prescriptions for a set price, also rose from £31.25 to £32.05 for three months, and from £111.60 to £114.50 for 12 months.

The PPC for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) rose from £19.30 to £19.80, while the cost of wigs and fabric supports also increased.

These rules only impact England, while these prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

"It worries me to see this increase," said pharmacist Jude Brown.

"I have heard other pharmacists have patients who are already asking if there is some other form of medicine they could take, something over the counter that they will not need a prescription for."

She continued to say that the increase in the cost of living and this increase in prescription prices is set to make it harder for people to get to their basic needs. 

Both pharmacists' fears are also seen nationwide as the chair of National Pharmacy Association (NPA) Nick Kaye called the increase an “arbitrary barrier” to people’s ability to receive healthcare.

He added: "As pharmacists, we understand the healing power of medicines. So naturally we oppose arbitrary barriers to people getting the medicines they need.

"This is a tax on the working poor that deepens the cost of living crisis for them."