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The price of NHS prescriptions is to rise by 20p in April and again next year. NHS dental charges will also increase by up to £5 from 1 April. In a statement, Health Minister Norman Lamb said the increases were justified given the increasing demands on the NHS, with spending on medicines alone almost doubling since 2000. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have scrapped all prescription charges. Around 90% of prescriptions in England are currently dispensed free of charge. There are exemptions for people on low incomes, children and the over 60s. The current prescription charge is £7.85. Dental charges will also increase. As of April 2014, the charge payable for a band one course of treatment will increase by 50p from £18 to £18.50. The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £1.50 from £49 to £50.50. The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £5 from £214 to £219. The cost of prescription prepayment certificates - 'season tickets' that can be bought to cover prescription costs for three or 12 months - will remain unchanged at £29.10 and £104, respectively. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26529262