4 Jan 2014

Pharmacist warns prescription debts are rising

3:14 pm on 4 January 2014

A pharmacist in Kaitaia says the cost of covering prescription debts for people who cannot pay is mounting.

Eric Shackleton says a charge of $5 per item makes it hard for people to afford all the medications prescribed to them.

The prescription charge rose from $3 per item a year ago.

Mr Shackleton says many patients are forced to ask for credit. The cost of giving credit is being borne by the pharmacy and he says that cannot go on forever.

Mr Shackleton says some Far North patients can have their prescriptions paid from a charitable fund set up this year by an anonymous Auckland woman.

But he does not know how much is in the fund or how long it will last.