Price of NHS prescriptions will rise to £9.15 from April onwards

The price of prescriptions will rise from £9 to £9.15 in April. (Getty)

The cost of prescriptions in England is set to increase by 15p at the beginning of April, the government has announced.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock released a statement on Tuesday revealing the charge will rise from £9 to £9.15 in line with inflation.

The latest increase means the price of prescriptions has gone up by more than 27% over the past decade.

Under the latest price hikes, the cost of surgical bras will rise to £30.05, abdominal or spinal supports to £45.35 and stock-size modacrylic wigs will increase to £74.15.

Partial human hair wigs will now cost £196.40 and full bespoke human hair wigs will rise to £287.20, while charges for wigs and fabric supports will also rise in line with inflation.

Matt Hancock announced the latest increase on Tuesday. (AP)

Prescriptions are currently free for patients living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but cost £9 per item for those in England who do not qualify for an exemption.

Prior to December’s election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn advocated scrapping the charges - claiming the move represents “simple common sense”.

“Healthcare is a human right. People should not be forced to worry about the cost of their medicines.,” he said at the time.

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“Bringing England in line with the rest of the UK by scrapping prescription charges for everyone is simple common sense and part of our plans to expand and upgrade our public services for the many, not the few.”

The last rise in prescription charges took place in February last year when they went up from £8.80 to £9.

Campaigners expressed their “disappointment” over plans shortly after they were announced.

Claire Anderson, chairwoman of the English pharmacy board at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said “Raising the amount people have to pay for their prescriptions is deeply concerning.

“People now may not be able to afford their prescriptions and shouldn’t be in a position where they have to ration or completely go without their medicines.

“This could lead to more people becoming ill and would only put more strain on an already stretched NHS.”

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Charity Kidney Care UK called the announcement “disappointing”.

“The system must change so people with kidney disease and/or transplants don’t have to pay for life-saving medicine,” it said.

The charity Anaphylaxis Campaign added: “The system must change so people with severe allergies don’t have to pay to stay well.”