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Free Prescriptions

I'm feeling like a right fraud and like I'm being unfair to millions of other asthma sufferers and I just wonder if anyone else has experienced similar feelings.

I have recently been diagnosed with a condition that makes my medically exempt from prescription charges, not just for the medication for that but for ALL my prescriptions.

The thing is, this 'exemption' illness requires two daily medications which come in a months supply box at a time - not an insignificant cost, but tiny in comparison to the 10+ monthly prescriptions I have for my asthma/allergies which I was originally paying for (by pre-payment). I now get all my asthma meds free.

How can this be justified/fair? I require both sets of meds to essentially keep me alive, so why am I suddenly exempt on the basis of one condition and why does that exemption cover all other prescriptions? Who came up with such a weird list of qualifying conditions and on what basis?

Also, does anyone know if I can claim back the unused months on my prescription pre-payment certificate as that's still valid until September?

5 Replies

hi ratty

I know what you mean i was diagnosed with addison's disease nearly 3 years ago now and was told i had free scripts for life as it is replacement therapy required in order to stay alive.

I too have an exemption certificate entitling me to free scripts across the board-its a bit weird as i only take 3 tablets a day for that and prob 3-4 injections a week so not much in compassion to the meds required for the asthma. Its a wierd system.

You can claim back any unused full months on pre payment by sending proof of your entitlement to free scripts to them with your pre payment -they will then reimburse you for the unused full months left on your pre pay card. Hope this helps a bit.

Lotsa lv kat Xx


The list of exemptions was drawn up many years ago and has long considered to be waaaaay out of date. It is due for review.

Our dear Prime Minister has promised a review - which will hopefully update the list to include asthma sufferers - but it's not yet happened. However, the govt have made the first steps by making prescriptions free to cancer sufferers since April 1st 2009.

We're getting there, but it's a very slow process.


I agree. I think it is terrible that (as you say) we should have to pay to literally stay alive. I am employed and do have a wage coming in but I do find it hard sometimes to find the money for my medicine especially when it gets bad and I have to go on steriods. Thats 4 lots of perscriptions I walk away with. I know there is a scheme where you can pay x amount a month and have unlimited perscriptions but I don't have quite enough some months for that to be a benifit.

Surely there has to be a petition or something we can start to get this reviewed?

ok rant over :-)



Hi Sally,

try this if you want to voice your opinion. and click sign petition.




You are obviously a lovely person! Try not to feel too guilty!

The current system isn't fair. I'm 26 & have NEVER paid for prescriptions despite working full time. Why?? I live in wales where all prescriptions are free to everybody. I live about 8 minutes drive from the border & my GP is actually in England however as I have a welsh address I get them free. My friend has the same GP but lives in England & pays full price for hers. As you can imagine I get some grumpy glances at the chemist when the lady says loudly 'yours are free dear, welsh address!'

Obviously this money is coming from somewhere. The welsh government whilst making prescriptions free to all spend less on other aspects of healthcare such as hospices than England for example. In an ideal world maybe we should try & abolish

charges or at least make the exemption list fairer. However where does the money come from IVF? New cancer drugs? Funding for our hospices? That's the difficult bit!



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