HC Deb 18 February 1997 vol 290 c541W
Mr. Chris Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost to the NHS of abolishing charges currently made for prescription drugs used to treat(a) epilepsy and (b) long-term depression. [15791]

Mr. Malone

People suffering from epilepsy who require continuous anti-convulsive therapy are exempt from prescription charges.

On the basis of a charge for a prescription item of £5.50 and the number of prescription items dispensed in 1995 for preparations in the British National Formulary, issue 28, September 1994, therapeutic group 4.3.1–4.3.3, some of which may have been prescribed for conditions other than long-term depression, it is estimated that about £8 million in charges would be lost annually in England to the national health service.