From next April, prescription charges will be cut by 25 per cent to £5 inScotlandand abolished by 2011.

Making the announcement yesterday, Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon said people with chronic and long-term conditions would benefit from a 50 per cent cut in the cost of prescription pre-payment certificates.

Ms Sturgeon said: 'Prescription charges are a tax on ill-health and can be a barrier to good health for too many people.'

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