§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received advocating the extension of exemption from prescription charges to men aged 60 to 64 years;
(2) if he will extend exemption from prescription charges to men aged 60 to 64 years.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
In the past three months one letter from an hon. Member and two letters from members of the public have been received. The present exemption arrangements protect those who are likely to have difficulty in paying charges and, in the case of men and women who have reached state pension age, reflect the 61W change of financial circumstances which they would generally experience at this point in their lives. Persons below state pension age who are not otherwise exempt, but who require frequent medication, can limit their outlay by buying a prepayment certificate. We therefore have no plans to change the present arrangements.