NHS prescription charges

Poppyg1rl
Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
Hi Helpline,
I'm a bit confused, (admittedly it doesn't take much these days!)
I was watching breakfast tv this morning, and they were discussing the imminent rise in prescription charges in England, the economics person stated quite clearly that if you suffer from a chronic illness you don't pay for your prescriptions, well I do, I'm not on any benefit had to give up being self employed and now have to pay for having psoriatic arthritis £100+ in pre pay prescription card.
I was told by my GP when first diagnosed that this is classed as a long term chronic illness, why the discrepancy?
Wondered if you could help me understand?
Many thanks xxx
'grá agus solas'
'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
«1

Comments

  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Del, checked the link, still think we're being picked on for having arthritis though, we couldn't help developing it anymore than a diabetic or epileptic.
    Hugs x
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • Florence500
    Florence500 Member Posts: 46
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As of today, Scotland's prescriptions are now free, come and pop over the border and join me :smile:
    187552_622678175_7857000_n.jpg
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It seems the vast majority of people are able to escape paying charges - I think altering the system to everyone who needs meds paying a smaller amount would be far fairer, and I do not understand why someone with epilepsy or diabetes gets ALL meds for free - surely only the epilepsy/diabetes related ones should be accounted for that way.


    I think I read somewhere that prescription charges were introduced to help raise monies for the war. Is that right? Why weren't they scrapped as soon as that was done? Obvious really, it's a nice little earner, similar to a stealth tax.


    There is one major downside to Florence500's idea. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poppy,

    Nothing to add to what's already been said except that I too saw the chappy on tv stating, incorrectly that anyone with a chronic illness doesn't pay - not true!!!! I was so cross by what he said that I was moved to text a comment to the programme (first time I have ever done this). Unfortunately I am so slow at texting that by the time I had done it the programme had finished. :roll: :roll:

    Clearly arthritis is not recognised as a chronic illness. If only that were true.

    Hope you are doing ok, wrist, Humira and all!

    Love Tilly xxx
  • rugbygirl
    rugbygirl Member Posts: 691
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My understanding of this is that any person who has an illness that can end up fatal is entitled to this. (this is how my old doctor explained it to me). However I am somewhat confused on this matter. How can epileptics get free prescriptions but asthmatics cant. Anyone who needs regular meds should be entitled to them free of charge.
    Jakib0644.gif
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    It seems the vast majority of people are able to escape paying charges - I think altering the system to everyone who needs meds paying a smaller amount would be far fairer, and I do not understand why someone with epilepsy or diabetes gets ALL meds for free - surely only the epilepsy/diabetes related ones should be accounted for that way.


    I think I read somewhere that prescription charges were introduced to help raise monies for the war. Is that right? Why weren't they scrapped as soon as that was done? Obvious really, it's a nice little earner, similar to a stealth tax.
    There is always another war to fight my dear, they would just come back with that chestnut, lol...... As you state, surely diabetics if anything should only get their diabetes medicines free? It doesn't make sense. I seem to recall the GP telling me that it has not been reviewed for many many years.... :roll: Besides, I don't think that I am over-exagerating but can't RA be fatal in some cases :???: Plus, my OH has Heart Failure, that sure as Hell CAN be fatal and she still has to pay, yet folks with diabetes or the other ones (can't recall them all but think thyroid is another) even if not that serious can get them free...
    Makes zero sense....
    I hope that it is not true what I have heard and I am sure one of the knowledgeable bunch will check for me as I am about as thick as Elton John's wad of cash... That we are subsidising the freebies Scotland and Wales are getting :shock: :shock:
    right, I am off, the drowsy demon is paying me a visit with his hefty 'lump hammer of sleep'

    :grin:

    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,880
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    prescription cahrges which are free should only be free for taht condition....my fruend who has thyroid issues gets all hers free and only the thyroxine is life saving.

    Epilepsy can of course kill, but so can asthma so l don't get it either :sad:

    Think we SHOULD all lobby our MPs?

    I heard that england subsidises the scots and welsh health services so if taht si teh case maybe we should stop? IS that true too?
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The charges were first levied in 1952 but abolished in 1966 by Mr Wilson. They were then re-introduced in 1968 as the drugs bill for the NHS had rocketed.

    In 2007 720 million scripts were issued in England and the revenue gained for the NHS was £500 million.

    The Welsh and the Scots now enjoy free prescriptions thanks to the largesse of the English taxpayer. The Scots also have free university education and free care for the elderly, again thanks to our munificence. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Once again the good old English are paying for everything then by the sounds of it? The George Cross flag may as well have a little TM printed on it and England just should become a registered charity :roll: :roll:
    Saying that, someone would get offended if we put up our glorious flag, aren't we about the only ones not aloud to be proud of who we are these days?
    I feel a rant coming on...... :evil
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,
    I still would like some clarification from Arthritis care as to why someone suffering from a chronic long term illness (PA, RA, As, too name a few) does not deserve free prescriptions.
    Regardless of the England/Scotland/Wales prescription debate,
    I feel it is categorically wrong to penalise those of us unlucky enough to suffer from this awful disease, that we have to pay for the medication to treat it, where other groups for example: diabetics and epileptics don't have to is unfair.
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think that the reason could be historical: possibly the drugs to treat diabetes and epilepsy were around long before the treatments for arthritis were developed: we might moan and whinge about meth, sulph, lef etc etc etc but fifity years ago these drugs did not exist (stickywicket, who has had this pestilence for that length of time, remembered that when she started her RA there was nothing). There is also the factor that diabetes and epilepsy can kill but arthritis doesn't.

    Treatments for all sorts of conditions have moved on - but the exemption list has failed to keep up with the times. Surely the list of exemptions should be abolished. People fall ill as a result of being alive - why should some be exempt and others not? Illness is not something that should be ranked that way. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD,
    Couldn't agree more, the exemption list is totally outdated.
    Still 'sticks in my graw' that we have to pay for having Arthur though, where others with chronic illnesses don't have to, and that's what, for me it comes down to, it's unfair.

    I've just done something I've never done before, emailed my MP,
    basically sent him my views and asked him to look into what I feel is an unfair situation.
    Hugs to all, hope everyone is as painfree as possible x
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,337
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone,

    We realise that this is a very emotive issue and totally understand the frustrations you are all referring to. You can contact our campaigns department direct via their links on our website (or write to your MP), we can't do that on your behalf.

    Here at Helplines we can't take on campaigns points other than to signpost.

    All the best

    Guy
  • Poppyg1rl
    Poppyg1rl Member Posts: 1,245
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Guy,
    Thanks for your response, I realise the helpline team are unable to do anything other than point us in the right direction and I thank you, as I have emailed my MP. I've never done that before, but I felt strongly that we arthritis sufferers are as a whole pretty much ignored, high time that stopped, I'm not naive enough to think I can change anything, but I feel better for doing my little bit.
    Thanks again to you all xxx
    'grá agus solas'
    'Love and Light' translated from Irish. X
  • wannabewriter
    wannabewriter Member Posts: 114
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can completely understand people’s frustration – especially at the Welsh and Scots getting theirs all for free – and I do think that the list should at least be extended for things like chronic heart conditions and also severe arthritis.

    I have a thyroid condition, and therefore get free prescriptions. While most people think it’s unfair that I get free prescriptions for EVERYTHING, everything I have is connected to my autoimmune disease. If thyroid problems are not treated, you will die, there is no question of it. Essentially, your body either slows to a halt or speeds up so much it can’t cope with it. Therefore, I think this list is for conditions which people require medication for in order to keep them alive, rather than the amount of pain they are in (which I do disagree with – it should definitely be for chronic pain conditions like arthur too). And because thyroid conditions are (mostly) autoimmune, everything from antibiotics for flu (like inflammatory arthritis, even a common cold is dangerous to autoimmune thyroid patients) to pain medication for musculoskeletal pain is related to this ongoing, potentially fatal, problem – which is why I think all related prescriptions are free too.

    Hopefully that might have clarified a few points. But don’t get me wrong – I completely think prescriptions should all be free, especially if the English are the only ones paying for it!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The sole cause of death is life. We will all peg it at some point, from one thing or another, so exempting some illnesses and not others from charges is intrinsically unfair. I pay my prepayment charges because I have to and that's fine - what isn't fine is the fact that my cost rises year-on-year to fund the ever-increasing numbers of those that don't. I cannot help being asthmatic and arthritic, neither can you help having thyroid problems. Scrap exemptions, bring more into the fold for paying then reduce the charge to everyone. Oink! Oink! Oink! Aren't those flying pigs pretty? :grin:

    Life is a fatal problem, its only outcome is death. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • wannabewriter
    wannabewriter Member Posts: 114
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    OR

    scrap fees completely. I would rather pay an extra tenner a month from my tax and know it was going directly to cover healthcare costs like prescriptions, to cover me when I really needed the care and for the same service to be there for everybody - you never know when you will be sick and need the care of the NHS....

    It's an archaic system, definitely, and needs to change. (But if I can, I'd like to keep my free prescriptions too!). :lol:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Of course you would, and I am sure you will be able to along with all the others who now enjoy the privilege. They won't revamp the system because those who currently don't pay won't want to which is completely understandable. I strongly doubt that free prescriptions will happen, a minority has to pay, teh NHS needs the income and we will carry on so doing (rest assured on that one) as we too need our meds. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • wannabewriter
    wannabewriter Member Posts: 114
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    But if Wales and Scotland have already got free prescriptions, why do you think we might not get them too?

    I am agreeing with you DD - much as I'd like to keep getting free prescriptions, either everyone should get them free or no one, simple as that. I just think we should be proactive in trying to get equality across the UK with our prescription charges (but then I am rather young, naive and every so hopeful of the world!).

    :P
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The Welsh and the Scots have theirs as they receive generous grants and subsidies from the English government. The Scots also benefit from free university education, free care for the elderly, free eye tests etc.

    Nothing is ever really free, a cost will be involved somewhere. The meds bill for the NHS is astonishing, it has to be paid for somehow, and making those that need the meds pay is logical. Healthy employed people already contribute towards part of the costs of the NHS through their NI contributions so they know the service is there should they need it. On the odd occasion they need some anti-biotics they can stump up the £7.40, safe in the knowledge that what ails them will be mended and they can get back to being healthy.

    People like me cost the NHS a great deal - of course I should pay some contribution towards it, and that's fine. What is annoying is that so many get away with NOT doing so: children, the elderly, the unemployed, thsoe with war pensions, those with the right sort of illnesses, the Scots, the Welsh, there must a few more groups too! I don't fit into any of those categories. The pool of those who HAVE to stump up to cover the costs of those who don't is shrinking, and at some pace. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Apologies if I am repeating myself, or if I am repeating what has already been said but the annoying man on BBC breakfast last week said that only 10% of people in England pay for their prescriptions. I was truly surpised at that figure and, of course, what that actually means is that the 10% of us who do pay are subsidising the other 90%. If this figure is correct and if my maths is correct, this would mean that, if everybody paid for their prescriptions, the standard prescription charge could reduce
    to approximately £0.70 per item and the NHS would still get their money.

    Can't quite work out how that would affect the cost of pre-payment cards (my maths isn't up to that!)

    Won't happen, I know but interesting thought I reckon.

    Tilly xxx
  • chris7
    chris7 Bots Posts: 2,696
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Interesting threads on this and lots of valid comments.


    Guess I am one of the 10% and had to pick up my repeat today at £22.20. :shock: I am it would seem relatively healthly in that I only have three regular items at the moment. It does hurt a bit cos I am on a very low income but my doc does acknowledge this and give me a two monthly one so it is still cheaper than an annual pre pay card.
    I guess the NHS pie is only so big so if my bit helps then fair enough. I do wonder how much some of these meds actually cost to produce and whether the NHS benefits at all? Surely the fat cats at the drug companies are the only ones who benefit?
    Chris
  • km89
    km89 Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know, the prescription charges are a lot and it's unfair that only the English are paying now.
    Also, I was looking in the BNF (geeky 'drug bible' pharmacists use-I'm studying pharmacy at uni) and if you look at some of the new biologic drugs they're using now, it costs around £9500 per year per person for the treatment. I was shocked at how expensive they are, but I suppose they are all new in their approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis etc. so the drug companies can charge as much as they like as they have patents and so no available competition from other drug companies to have competitive prices with.
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi wannabe, I understand your point that you were making regarding the items you get free are all related to the thyroid illness, what you forgot to mention is that should you need some bandages for a poorly finger they would also be free for you.. Another example of how the system is flawed... Don't get me wrong, not picking on you, just pointing it out..
    Another thing that gets me is that as I'm not able to work, should my OH not be working we would both get all the freebies we coos ever need, but as she is and had worked very hard to get herself to a position of earning what the government deem enough to compensate for me not working then I get penalised along with her for that... By being charged for my prescriptions.. Should she be purposely rubbish at her job and get paid the lurker bit less it would take to get her under the ridiculous threshold, then we would get help with rent, opticians etc too..
    Doesn't encourage folks to work harder...
    Guess I'm in a moaning mood after very little sleep, lol..
    Her health issues are very life threatening and her tablets are what are keeping her alive.. She still has to pay for them. System makes no sense...

    Sorry for the moan..

    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The system is totally skewed, unreasonable, unfair and will never be altered. No government will ever have the cojones to tackle this issue as they would lose so many votes. Those who currently receive free prescriptions as they have the right diseases or come under any of the other exempted groups probably won't vote for a party that wants to charge everyone, no matter how small that fee could be. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben