Prescriptions & charges: Hi All I have... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Prescriptions & charges


Hi All

I have mild COPD (coupled with adult onset asthma) and am on Clenil 100 brown inhalers 2 puffs, morning and night and ventolin before I run. All these cost a considerable amount of money when you add it all up. I heard recently that Chronic illnesses such as this should get free prescriptions, is this correct? (I am in the uk)



14 Replies
in reply to Nickcv

thanks :-)

2 items? Check here:

You could buy annual pre payment subscription (£29 for 3 mth/£104 for 12mth)if not entitled to free.

Ask for a pre-paid annual prepayment prescription certificate - PPC thingy for Christmas. Saves loads and loads if you're paying for your prescriptions. £104 per year & you can pay in 10 instalments. Also a 3 monthly one.

Hi when I was still working I got a pre-paid prescription certificate and saved a small fortune. You don't pay when you are 60 or over. You also don't pay for any prescriptions if you have an under or over active thyroid, or diabetes etc. There are some more exceptions too.

You definitely don't get it for lung issues such as copd though maybe we should! x

in reply to hypercat54

That's correct. The reasoning is that the medications for thyroid and for diabetes are replacement medications. Though don't ask me why they attract a free pass when you're under 60. If you have one of these, all your other medications are free too. No logic.

Hypothyroidism is when you can't make enough thyroid hormone naturally, in other words the thyroid gland is partly dead or already dead. Thyroid hormone is needed by every cell in the body. Without replacement thyroid hormone a hypothyroid patient will eventually die, not immediately, it will take possibly a couple of years of increasing ill health, leading to myxedema coma and eventually death. This is why hypothyroid patients get free prescription in England (in the rest of the UK all prescriptions are free).

It would seem reasonable to say that surely just the replacement thyroid hormone should be on free prescription but the reality is that many thyroid patients are so poorly treated that they are undermedicated which leads to many other health problems that require treatment with prescribed medication.

I would have died without my asthma medication Susie. As applies to many others who have to pay out until they are 60 for medications which are not replacements. It seems bonkers to me. When my partner was diagnosed with low thyroid (so yes I know exactly what happens if you don't have the thyroxine) she was told "the bad news is you have to take this medication for life - the good news is that it and all your other medications will be free." Fine - we saved a huge amount over the years but it's a crazy system. If you need a medication, then you need it. Whether or not its a replacement medication.

Many people make the mistake that it's a medication or drug, it isnt, it's a hormone, like insulin, both essential for life.

I together with 'many people' are perfectly aware of that - I was using 'medication' as a shorthand term since thyroxine is produced by the pharmaceutical industry. Getting it free, for some reason, then makes all medications for other conditions, which frequently have nothing to do with an underactive thyroid, free as well. That's my point and if you don't see the logic in finding that a bit weird then we will have to agree to disagree. And in relation to dying if you dont get thyroxine, if I dont get my asthma and copd medication I would die too. So Im not sure what your point is in bringing that up above in relation to thyroxine. The body is malfunctioning in both conditions and needs treatment.

"That's my point and if you don't see the logic in finding that a bit weird then we will have to agree to disagree"

I did say

It would seem reasonable to say that surely just the replacement thyroid hormone should be on free prescription

so I'm not actually disagreeing with you, and I don't see the logic with some of the other conditions they list such as "permanent fistula" and "continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person" taking priority over asthma when they're not on the "essential for life" list.

I think the whole point is down to - out of all the UK nations, NHS England is the only one charging patients for prescriptions, so the question to ask them is why are they specifying one condition rather than another. The answer, of course, will be that they are prioritising what they spend their money on. And of course there will always be debate and people not agreeing with them.

I agree - we may have been misunderstanding each other - or me misunderstanding you anyway. Should be free for all, disgraceful not.

you buy a 3 month pre paid and get 6 months of prescips off doc then by another when med are running out that way only cost 60 quid for year

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