B1590 - Prescription Charge Abolition Bill 2020

Watch
This discussion is closed.
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1

What is this thread about?
This is a bill in the Model House of Commons (MHoC). It's a piece of proposed legislation that is currently being debated, and there's a good chance that the House will later vote on whether to pass it into TSR law. All are welcome and encouraged to ask questions about the bill's content and join in the debate – you don't have to be in a party or be an MP to do so.

What is the MHoC?
It's a political role-playing game where we pretend to be the House of Commons, and it's been going since 2005. We have formed parties, we have elections twice a year, and we debate bills and motions just like the real-life parliament. If you want to know more about how the MHoC works, your first port of call is the user manual. If you'd like to get involved and possibly join a party, you want the welcome thread.


Prescription Charge Abolition Bill 2020, TSR Liberal Democrats, TSR Labour Party
Image
Prescription Charge Abolition Bill 2020

An Act abolishing prescription charges for everyone in England.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1: Repeal of relevant legislation
(1) Section 131 of the National Health Service Act 2006 is repealed.
(2) Sections 172 to 175 of the National Health Service Act 2006 are repealed.
(3) Section 178 of the National Health Service Act 2006 is repealed.
(4) The National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations 2015 are repealed.

2: Ban on charges
(1) The National Health Service may not levy a charge for prescribed medicines or pharmaceutical services to British citizens or persons normally resident in the United Kingdom, unless under an exception provided for by this Act or the National Health Service Act 2006.
(2) Where a prescribed medicine is available for sale without a prescription in the pharmacy where a prescription is dispensed, the pharmacy may charge for the prescribed medicine.
(2) a. This charge may be no higher than the sale price of the prescribed medicine, or five pounds, whichever is the lower.

3: Charging of persons not normally resident in the United Kingdom
(1) The Secretary of State may impose a charge for prescribed medicines or pharmaceutical services on persons not normally resident in the United Kingdom, who are not British citizens.
(2) This charge may be no higher than the cost of the prescribed medicine or pharmaceutical service, or ten pounds, whichever is the lower.

4: Definitions
(1) ‘Prescribed medicines’ refers to any medicine prescribed by an NHS doctor.
(2) ‘Pharmaceutical services’ refers to any medical service provided by a pharmacist.

5: Extent, commencement and short title
(1) This Act extends to England.
(2) The provisions of this Act come into force on 1st April 2022.
(3) This Act may be cited as the Prescription Charge Abolition Act 2020.

Notes
This bill follows Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and abolishes prescription charges in England, ensuring that medicines prescribed in the NHS are available free at the point of use.

The bill includes exceptions: one for people who are neither UK citizens nor normally live in the UK. A charge may be levied on them.

The second exception is where the patient could have bought a medicine off the shelf or over the counter without a prescription. In this case, a charge of cost or up to £5 can be levied. This is to stop people abusing free prescriptions for medicines that are cheap to buy, such as basic painkillers.

Currently only around one in five people pay prescription charges in England, and only about 10 per cent of prescriptions are paid for. The King's Fund think tank suggest the cost may range from £575m to £750m, though NHS Wales believes that abolition has saved it money.
0
Miss Maddie
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
Overall, a conditional aye!

The 2015 regulations shouldn't be entirely repealed. The regulations cover more things than medicines. For example, wigs for cancer patients, elastic hosiery such as compression stockings and urine sample taking pots. These don't meet the definition of pharmaceutical service. Removing the regulations removes the option for help funding treatment in some cases. I would like to see the bill tightening to include non medicinal and service treatments or the regulations partly kept.
0
glassalice
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 months ago
#3
Why is there no provision for free non-prescription medicines that are targeted at children?

As an example, paracetamol in a concentration/ dosage suitable for young children is far more expensive than paracetamol that is suitable for adults.
This could cause significant difficulties to low income families.
0
KingPenguin
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
Cutting money from the NHS' budget without an immediate action to plug that funding gap.

The £5 exception for people wanting to get over the counter painkillers through the NHS seems silly to me. Pretty sure it costs more than £5 to prescribe paracetamol.

Nay.
0
Bailey14
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 months ago
#5
(Original post by KingPenguin)
Cutting money from the NHS' budget without an immediate action to plug that funding gap.

The £5 exception for people wanting to get over the counter painkillers through the NHS seems silly to me. Pretty sure it costs more than £5 to prescribe paracetamol.

Nay.
£3.23 per item to prescribe Paracetamol.
3
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 months ago
#6
I find it very odd that you are repealing section 131, but not the part called charging under who’s authority the regulations you seek to repeal are made.
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#7
(Original post by Aph)
I find it very odd that you are repealing section 131, but not the part called charging under who’s authority the regulations you seek to repeal are made.
Takes Deputy Speaker hat off

I imagine this is because a charge is still being imposed.
0
Theloniouss
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 months ago
#8
On principle, aye.
0
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 months ago
#9
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Takes Deputy Speaker hat off

I imagine this is because a charge is still being imposed.
So the charging section states what can be charged for and makes regulations for it. That part includes things like dentistry.


I have just realised, this bill will make all optometry free (I think) as section 131 allows optometrists to charge for their services. Thus without that section (I’m not 100% sure I’m reading it correctly) all glasses, contact lenses and other optometry will be free in England...
0
Iñigo de Loyola
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 months ago
#10
If all this does is remove prescription charges then Aye.

However, unless Aph's concerns about opteometry are dealt with then I will have to vote Nay.
0
Tanqueray91
  • Study Helper
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 months ago
#11
No

Access to medicine is cheap compared to many places, and removing this will just encourage the use of prescription painkillers over the use of what is otherwise cheap medicine in any major supermarket.

Why is everyone feeling they're entitled to ****ing everything. Jesus
0
Mr T 999
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 months ago
#12
(Original post by Aph)
So the charging section states what can be charged for and makes regulations for it. That part includes things like dentistry.


I have just realised, this bill will make all optometry free (I think) as section 131 allows optometrists to charge for their services. Thus without that section (I’m not 100% sure I’m reading it correctly) all glasses, contact lenses and other optometry will be free in England...
Section 131 allows pharmacists, optometrists,dentists, chiropractors, nurses and midwives to charge for their services (based on section 126 of the same act). Repealing the whole thing means all those things are now free of charge. Seems like a massive oversight on the author.
0
Mr T 999
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 months ago
#13
Nay! As mentioned above this bill is flawed and allows optometrists and dentists to offer their services for free of charge. Using the link in the notes '' Only around a fifth of people pay prescription charges, so those who are the least able to pay already get free prescriptions'' according to that the poor receive free prescriptions so it's not like the poor are disadvantage here, those who end up paying are able to afford it. Secondly, you're taking away £575-750 million from the NHS which can be reinvested back to the NHS to improves it's services.
0
The Mogg
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 months ago
#14
On principle, no, even the notes say that only a fifth pay the charges, those paying for it are those who can afford it and they should definitely not be given them for free.

In practice with this bill it's an even bigger no because of the other services being made free, whether done on purpose or accidental.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 months ago
#15
(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Overall, a conditional aye!

The 2015 regulations shouldn't be entirely repealed. The regulations cover more things than medicines. For example, wigs for cancer patients, elastic hosiery such as compression stockings and urine sample taking pots. These don't meet the definition of pharmaceutical service. Removing the regulations removes the option for help funding treatment in some cases. I would like to see the bill tightening to include non medicinal and service treatments or the regulations partly kept.
I will look into this specific point and, if need be, bring forward a change in a new reading as I agree that some of those services should probably still be charged for.
(Original post by KingPenguin)
Cutting money from the NHS' budget without an immediate action to plug that funding gap.

The £5 exception for people wanting to get over the counter painkillers through the NHS seems silly to me. Pretty sure it costs more than £5 to prescribe paracetamol.

Nay.
Maybe it's unclear but I'm not sure you've understood the point of that section. What it does is introduce an exception, where things available off the shelf or over the counter can still be charged for, up to cost price (which would be the case for paracetamol, which costs literally pennies) or £5, whichever is lower. This is to stop the offer of free prescriptions being abused to acquire relatively cheap over-the-counter medicines free of charge.
(Original post by Aph)
So the charging section states what can be charged for and makes regulations for it. That part includes things like dentistry.


I have just realised, this bill will make all optometry free (I think) as section 131 allows optometrists to charge for their services. Thus without that section (I’m not 100% sure I’m reading it correctly) all glasses, contact lenses and other optometry will be free in England...
I'll look more closely at this point during first reading debate and see if a change is required.
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#16
(Original post by Tanqueray91)
No

Access to medicine is cheap compared to many places, and removing this will just encourage the use of prescription painkillers over the use of what is otherwise cheap medicine in any major supermarket.

Why is everyone feeling they're entitled to ****ing everything. Jesus
No it won't: "(2) Where a prescribed medicine is available for sale without a prescription in the pharmacy where a prescription is dispensed, the pharmacy may charge for the prescribed medicine."
0
Tanqueray91
  • Study Helper
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#17
Report 5 months ago
#17
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
No it won't: "(2) Where a prescribed medicine is available for sale without a prescription in the pharmacy where a prescription is dispensed, the pharmacy may charge for the prescribed medicine."
Re-reading; Updated will come tomorrow.
Last edited by Tanqueray91; 5 months ago
1
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#18
Report 5 months ago
#18
Love to see items like this on the house floor.

I think there are sizeable arguments on either side of this debate and I'm not sure where I stand at the moment, so I'm happy to be persuaded.

I would say, though, that it is nice to see further party collaboration in this bill, and I hope it's something that can become a more regular feature in our general pattern of operation. :yes:
0
Cabin19
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 months ago
#19
Aye
0
Napp
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 months ago
#20
One is rather torn by this, on the one hand its a commendable idea to make prescriptions free but on the other hand i'm reticent about removing a funding source for the NHS. With that being said the point made in the notes on this is duly taken.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you travelling in the Uni student travel window (3-9 Dec) to go home for Christmas?

Yes (113)
28.11%
No - I have already returned home (52)
12.94%
No - I plan on travelling outside these dates (80)
19.9%
No - I'm staying at my term time address over Christmas (39)
9.7%
No - I live at home during term anyway (118)
29.35%

Watched Threads

View All