Boots will levy £5 prescription delivery charge from September 30

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Boots pharmacies are to charge £5 for prescription charge deliveries to existing housebound customers from September 30.

The levy has applied to new customers since July, and is being extended to cover all patients except those regarded as particularly vulnerable from the end of the month.

The firm also recently launched an online repeat prescription service which includes free postal delivery for all patients.

But in a move which has sparked outrage across the UK people who rely wholly upon home delivery now face a charge of either £5 per delivery or £55 for 12 months of deliveries.

The levy affects patients down south more acutely than in Scotland, where the actual prescriptions are free, but press accounts flag several cases of people who say they will face financial difficulties trying to meet the added cost.

Boots will continue to provide a free delivery service from store where there’s “a clinical need”, or where an emergency delivery is needed - including those who are receiving end of life or palliative care.

A Boots spokesman told the Falkirk Herald: “This change is in line with other pharmacies who, for a few years now, have charged for home delivery of prescriptions from stores.

“This additional service is not funded by the NHS as part of the pharmacy contract, and we do not make any profit on this service.

“Community pharmacy continues to face a number of challenges.

“Rising costs to dispense and deliver, coupled with increased demand for the convenience of home delivery, means we have to adapt to ensure Boots continues to care for patients across the UK.”