250 Ipswich patients fined after failing to pay for their prescriptions

NHS Digital has released figures on prescription medication for alcohol dependency. Picture: GREGG B

A total of 252 penalty charge notices for unpaid prescription charges were given to people in the local authority area in 2020. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Patients in Ipswich who falsely claimed they were exempt from prescription charges have been fined to a total of £22,599 by the NHS.

A total of 252 penalty charge notices for unpaid prescription charges were given to people who were not exempt from paying for their medication in the local authority area in 2020.

Since 2013/14, prescription costs have gone up by around 2.54% each year, with the largest increase of 3.89% in 2020/21 bringing the cost to £9.35 per item, according to research From Mars. 

NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), a body of the department of health and social care, checks claims for free NHS prescriptions on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement by first sending an enquiry letter.

A spokeswoman for NHSBSA explained: "This asks them to get in touch with us to confirm their exemption if they believe they have one. If they don’t respond to this letter within 28 working days with proof of a valid prescription exemption, they are sent a penalty charge notice (PCN)."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter