Less than 10% paid for prescriptions when they were abolished.
I'm not convinced of the veracity of the comment that only 10% of people had to pay prescription charges, before the abolition of prescription charges in Wales. I understand that the truth is that only 10% of the population had to pay ALL prescription charges. The remaining 90% included people who had pre-pay certificates, those who had their first prescription issued in a hospital rather than a pharmacy and those who were exempt from condition limited charges (such as ex-service personnel who were allowed free prescriptions relating to their war pension ailments, but not other conditions).
As Lyndon notes in a comment, the trouble with the old payment system was that it was arbitrary, illogical and of a completely unfair nature.
I am prescribed anticonvulsants. So, if I had won an Euro Lottery roll-over of £90 million and had invested it in a dodgy hedge fund that gave me a 1000% return, I STILL wouldn't have to pay the charges under the current English system.
If the NHS in Wales needs to re-introduce charges, then the charging system must be fair and equitable. Unfortunately the Assembly doesn't have the competence to introduce fair prescription charges at the moment.
If there are good economic arguments for reintroducing prescription charges (and I am not convinced that there are) then they cannot be reintroduced until the Assembly has the full competence to create fair and equitable charges. With the eLCO system of gaining competence for the Assembly being so long winded there are many more pressing issues that need to be dealt with ahead of this one!