Despite the NHS being under greater pressure than ever before, 172 fines were handed out to people in Watford for failing to pay for their prescriptions.
Research conducted by pharmacist Navin Khosla for medical provider, From Mars, revealed that 172 penalty charge notices (PCN) were handed out in Watford in the last year.
The fines totalled £14,652 with 17.80 PCN handed out per 10,000 in Watford.
The dodging of paying for medical prescriptions comes in a year when the NHS has continued to struggle with the Covid pandemic.
The total number of fines per population in Watford is relatively low compared to most local authority areas in the country with Watford ranking 106th out of 309 across England, Scotland and Wales.
Blackburn with Darwen was the worst performing area with 534 people, 35.59 per 10,000. handed fines.
This research reveals that every single one of the top 20 local authorities for prescription-related PCNs is located in the north of England.
The surge in fines in Watford and across the country comes as the prices of prescriptions rise. Since 2012, the cost of a prescription has risen by £1.70, which equates to a rise of 22.22 per cent over the last eight years.
Pharmacist Navin Khosla said: “The cost of prescriptions goes up every year. While this increase is usually only by a small margin, they do add up.
“This led us to wonder where in our country do the most people struggle to pay for their prescriptions?”