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GPs call for mental health prescription fees to be scrapped for students


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The Royal College of GPs has spoken to BBC’s Newsbeat about the importance of getting rid of the costs that come with mental health prescriptions for students in England.

The £8.60 fee only applies to those studying in England, whereas students in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales get their prescriptions for free.

Mental health prescriptions can be particularly expensive due to the difficulty GPs often have in finding an effective medication for the patient. Often multiple medications are trialled until one has a positive effect, leading to a vast build up of costs.

James Crick, a student at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, commented:

“Prescription costs for mental health are at times a little costly, I myself can spend anything up to £50 on antidepressants and antipsychotic medications which can add pressure onto the moods and having to fund this can add extra stress!

“This needs to be looked at because should I really be paying to be myself? Paying to be happy?”

The Department of Health has also commented on the issue: “90% of prescription items are already free on the NHS and further exemptions are in place for people on a low income - which can include students.”

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