The number of prescriptions not being collected by patients has increased during the cost of living crisis, a survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has found.
The RPS survey of almost 270 pharmacists found half said they had seen an increasing number of patients ask them which prescription medication they could manage without because they could not afford to pay the charge.
The survey also found one in two pharmacists reported an increase in the number of people not collecting their prescriptions, while two out of three respondents said that more people were asking if they could have a cheaper over-the-counter medicine instead.
Thorrun Govind, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, said: "We are deeply concerned that people are having to make choices about their health based on their ability to pay.
"No one should have to make choices about rationing their medicines and no one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need."
In England, the current prescription charge per item is £9.35; however, prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The government has also not yet announced if the prescription charge will increase in April after it was frozen last year.
The survey also found:
Two-thirds of respondents had witnessed patients asking if there was anything cheaper they could buy over the counter.
14% said they had helped a patient pay for the prescription, with 32% saying they have done this more over the last six months.
50% said they had received abuse from patients over the cost of their prescriptions.
Govind said the prescription charge in England was an "unfair tax" which falls hardest on low-income people who are struggling with the rise in food prices and energy bills.
The RPS is a member of The Prescription Charges Coalition which is campaigning for the government to exempt people with long-term illnesses from prescription charges.
The government had planned to introduce the exemption in 2009 but this was scrapped by the coalition government in 2010.
The latest inflation figures released this week showed while the crisis has peaked, the price of food is still on the rise.
Inflation fell to 10.1% last month from 10.5% in December showing a further gradual easing back from the painful 41-year high of 11.1% recorded in October.
But food inflation remains at a 45-year high of 16.8%.