The King's Fund has welcomed prime minister Gordon Brown's announcement that he will scrap prescription charges for cancer patients from April 2009, and subsequently for all patients with long-term conditions.

It said moves in Scotland and Wales towards free prescriptions had "clearly piled on the political pressure".

To read or watch Gordon Brown's full party conference speech, go to

More HSJ coverage of the conference

Gordon Brown promises free prescriptions for cancer patients

Ben Bradshaw: NHS top-up debate will never be resolved

NHS data breach furore could derail reforms

Charities support Labour on health interventionism