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[DDA News] Higher cost medicines packs to carry taxpayer warning


Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to introduce new medicines packaging designed to communicate the cost of medicines.

By the end of 2016, packs of all medicines costing over £20 will be marked ‘funded by the UK taxpayer’, he told the Local Government Association annual conference.

He said the initiative aimed to remind people of the cost of medicine, and boost adherence to drug regimes, and he cited estimates suggesting that the NHS spends £162 million on missed GP appointments, £750m a year on missed hospital appointments and £300m a year on wasted medicines.

He said: “There is no such thing as a free health service: everything we are proud of in the NHS is funded by taxpayers and every penny we waste costs patients more through higher taxes or reduced services. People who use our services need to know that in the end they pay the price for this waste.”

He also told the conference that people would be expected to take more personal responsibility around care for the elderly, and that he welcomed “expert patients who Google their conditions”.