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Plaid MS demands explanation from Welsh Govt for prescription delivery charges imposed on vulnerable people

17 Mar 2023 4 minute read
Photo: Julien Behal / PA Media. Inset – Llyr Gruffydd of Plaid Cymru.

A north Wales MS has demanded that a Welsh Government minister explain why delivery charges are being imposed on the prescriptions of vulnerable constituents.

Llyr Gruffydd of Plaid Cymru, has spoken out in the Senedd after it was revealed that a man from Rhyl may go without medication because of the introduction of delivery charges.

Mr Gruffydd told the Minister for north Wales, Lesley Griffiths that it “undermines” the policy of free prescriptions in Wales and that the “inevitable upshot” is that vulnerable people won’t be “receiving the medicines that they need”.

The resident, who asked not to be named, was told by Wellington Road Pharmacy that, from March 1, he would have to pay either £4 per delivery, or an annual fee of £40.

The Rhyl resident who says his medical conditions, such as agoraphobia and other issues, mean he is unable to pick up his prescription from the pharmacy himself, has warned that it could “put lives at risk” if the practice of imposing delivery charges becomes widespread.


Mr Gruffydd will be meeting Lee Browne, managing director of Camella Healthcare Limited, who runs the pharmacy, this month to discuss the matter.

He has urged the company to change its policy to exempt those who cannot pick up their prescription because of a medical condition from deliver charges.

Mr Browne has defended the move, arguing that it is “necessary” because of rising costs.

Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “May I ask for a statement from the health Minister on the issue of charging for delivering prescriptions from pharmacies?

“It’s entirely reasonable to charge in a scenario where an individual can’t be bothered to collect a prescription, but I’ve been contacted by some people in my region who, because of their medical condition, can’t go and fetch their prescriptions, and have now found that they are required to pay for that.

“In the first instance, many of them can’t afford to do so, and the inevitable upshot of that is that they will not, therefore, be receiving the medicines that they need. And that, of course, undermines the policy that we’re all proud of, that prescriptions are free of charge in Wales.

“So, I think we need some clarity from the Minister on what the Government expects from pharmacies: do the pharmacists or the individuals trying to access prescriptions need support? And I think we need more consistency across Wales, because in some areas they charge, and in others they don’t.”


Lesley Griffiths MS said: “I will certainly ask the Minister to provide some clarity via a written statement. You’re absolutely right that the whole point of having that policy of free prescriptions is to keep people well and to make sure that those who are employed are able to stay in employment.

“If we do have this disparity, I think you’re quite right; you don’t want to see that inconsistency or a postcode lottery, where you have some areas charging. So, I will certainly ask the health Minister to bring forward a written statement with that clarity.”

The resident said: “I have not been feeling well, and I am in a lot of pain. But that aside, I suffer from Agrophobia and have other issues. So leaving the house is a no go for me, and as such when I need the doctor to call and then when I need medication they have always been delivered free of charge by the pharmacy.

“I received my medication a few weeks ago, only to find a leaflet attached to it. It read that the pharmacy is going to start to charge £4 per delivery or £40 a year, for deliveries.

“I suppose one of the lucky ones and could afford to pay either, as I don’t have many deliveries from them. But when you think of others who may have to have several deliveries, because they may suffer, say from cancer or something major.

“It was on principle alone that I thought I would not pay their demands for this or any other delivery and as such. I would rather go without. I understand that they need to pay their overheads, but £4 per delivery is way too much.

“And in this day and age, when we’re all suffering the prices for energy and food that could put others over the edge. If this pharmacy is allowed to get away with it, then surely others will follow. And that would, I think put lives at risk. I hope I’m wrong.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

I know a local postman who does it for some elderly folks on his round…he’s on a tracker and has been told to prioritise parcels over letters…Simon Thompson out !

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