PRESCRIPTION charges would be scrapped under Labour — costing £3.5billion over five years.
The medicines cost £9 an item.
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth wants to scrap £9 prescription charges[/caption]
Those with long-term illnesses often pay hundreds a year.
Charges are already free for patients living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The annual cost for abolishing the charges in England would be £576million plus £170million from increased take-up.
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said tackling “widening health inequalities” will be Labour’s priority.
MOST READ IN POLITICS
He said: “We know that the cost of prescriptions puts people off taking the medicine they need.
“Not only do people suffer illnesses and the effects of illnesses more than they need to but, in the long term, it costs the NHS more money because those people who don’t take their medicines present with even more serious conditions later on.”
Free prescriptions are currently available for patients including those 60 or over, under 16s and new mums who have had a baby in previous 12 months.