Fibromyalgia Action UK
40,629 members52,706 posts

Prescription charges

Hi everyone, I had a letter today asking me to prove my eligibility for free prescriptions. This letter came from the NHS and was quite formal, accusing me of fraud. I always believed that as I claim ESA and PIP that I would get free prescriptions. Also with having fibro which is a chronic condition that in itself allows me to get free prescriptions. I have three items each month that would cost me over £25.

How do other people get on with prescription charges and am I right in my thinking. I have to send the NHS proof that I can get free prescriptions otherwise I have to pay a large fine.

Thanks for your opinions.

David

35 Replies
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Call your pharmacist. They may be able to help. I live in Scotland so no charges.

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Hi David it is not right terrible hope you do qualify .if not you can buy a yearly one a lot cheaper.all these checks not good .my old friend on contrbution ESA and has to pay for dental etc because it is contribution ESA not good .hope it gets sorted for you

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Hi

If you are on ESA income related you are entitled to free prescriptions and some dental treatment as well as free sight test and will get help with cost of glasses.

ESA contribution based entitles you to none of these

You can apply to pay so much for 3 6 or 12 months

o their is the HC1 form for low income but they take your partners income into consideration .

Hope this helps

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Yes, I forgot that it depends on which ESA component you're entitled to.👍👍

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Its this that results in lots of people claiming as they generally think they are entitled to them

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Yes you are right Rose54,

people are confused or are just not informed about other entitlements.

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Hi Golfer15, I would assume if your getting ESA that you are definitely entitled to free prescriptions. If you have a letter from ESA send it into NHS, if not ring ESA and ask them to send you a letter of entitlement and then send that to NHS.

Hope this helps,

Mags 👍👍

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There are only a few chronic conditions that entitle people to free prescriptions, fibro isn't on the list.

nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcos...

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I personally feel it should be but as you say it isn't ! FMAUK supports the Prescription Charges Coalition who've been campaigning for long term conditions to be exempt for years. Here's a link to their petition if anyone agrees and would like to sign;

e-activist.com/page/19623/p...

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Signed 👍

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Hi

I'm i correct in saying its due to the Illness being life threatening that thay are exempt from prescription charges .

But I do agree with you and will sign

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Medical exemption certificates are issued on application to people who have:

a permanent fistula (for example, a caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance

a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential

diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism

diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone

hypoparathyroidism

myasthenia gravis

myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)

epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy

a continuing physical disability that means the person can't go out without the help of another person – temporary disabilities don't count, even if they last for several months

They are also issued for people undergoing treatment for cancer:

including the effects of cancer, or

the effects of current or previous cancer treatment

Source nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcos... (same link @Bantam12 kindly provided :) )

Hope this helps :)

Emma :)

P.S I feel in some circumstances Fibromyalgia should go under 'a continuing physical disability that means the person can't go out without the help of another person – temporary disabilities don't count, even if they last for several months' but again we always have the ones who argue it's 'all in our mind' therefore not physical which causes us to suffer yet again!!

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Signed. Seems such an unfair system. We need to do something.

David x

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Signed!

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signed

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Hi I've signed the petition and shared it on Facebook, I hope it helps, I'm in Scotland and we don't have to pay, it should be the same for everyone

Gentle hugs Rosie xx 😊

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Unfortunately, there are many who claim they are exempt fraudulently and so these letters are accusationary for a reason . If your entitled to free prescriptions then you can provide them with the proof of an income related benefit else your going to have to get a prepaid certificate- they last a year but a lot cheaper in the long run

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Hi David, having always paid for prescriptions and never having claimed benefits before, when I started claiming ESA, I naively thought I would be entitled to free prescriptions so the first two after I started claiming benefits, I did not pay for. I subsequently received a letter from NHS Business Authority saying as I was not entitled to free prescriptions, I had to pay the fee plus a £42 fine so I paid £100 in total for 2 prescriptions! On checking I discovered that because I was on contribution based ESA rather than income based, I was not entitled to free prescriptions. Having fibro does not automatically qualify you - if you look on the back of your prescription slip it does explain the exemptions but I foolishly didn't read this correctly. If you are on income based ESA you should be okay and just need to send proof of your benefit to them. If not then you can save money by getting a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). I've included link to NHS website explaining prescription fee exemptions in case you need it. x

nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-pres...

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I think governent should maybe raise 1p tax or just do it free presciption means tested if you are on esa you should get free or a small charge .

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I’m on contribution based ESA and have had to pay for all my prescriptions. It’s a bit unfair when you don’t ask for the condition and your paying twice lol. I think as others have said on income bae there free. Hope your well David?

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Hi Steve, this system seems a bit unfair. I'm ok I just don't need this stress today.

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No it’s not good hate days when stress is high. It’s freezing here been in so much more pain today

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Yes I have felt quite stressed all week for different reasons and this letter today made me feel even worse. Taker care of yourself. Keep warm.

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Thanks David hope things ease for you take care Steve

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Don't know if you are entitled to free prescription because your on ESA don't think I was so I paid a pre paid prescription which still saves you a lot of money as they are going up again, hope some one else will be able to help you

Love & Hugs Xx

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Hi David, I am on contribution based ESA, so therefore have to pay for mine too. I got one of the pre-payment cards and pay £10.40 a month for mine, but considering I have 6 meds on repeat script, I look at it as saving me over £40 a month. I also think that as Fibro could fit into the "a continuing physical disability that means the person can't go out without the help of another person – temporary disabilities don't count, even if they last for several months" category and so we shouldn't have to pay for any meds we take for said condition. Hope you feel better soon. Loz x

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Hi David, as mentioned before, you can try to put a claim in for a HC1/HC2 certificate through the NHS Business Authority if you're on a low income. They do take your whole household income into account. I claimed when my son and daughter lived with me and were both in full time employment. It might work differently with a spouse or partner, but it's worth applying.

Good luck

LG x

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Hi david....you would only be eligable for free prescriptions if your esa is income related and not contributions based ....

Pip does not entitle you to free prescriptions but esa does ....just fouble check that it is Income related x

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It is a private company I think that check the eligibility. I've had 3 letters. You have to tick the correct eligibility box when you collect your prescription. If you miss, you are in trouble. Again. Years ago we had a letter that confirmed eligibility now we use a benefit letter. If you are entitled they will wave the fine, but it's still horrid. It makes you feel like a scrounger the way they do all this. I wish I could afford to pay or didn't need anything because all this checking and accusing is nasty.

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I get high rate fro both parts of pip and am not entitled to free prescription I have 11 items every month which would cost a fortune but I pay for a yearly prescription which is worth every penny

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Hi I’ve got fibromyalgia and thought I wouldn’t have to pay for meds so I called the nhs and get pip but was told no I have to pay as they have a list off different medical conditions that you don’t have to pay and fibromyalgia is not on there list

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I contacted the DWP and found out that I am on contribution based ESA. I have paid the penalty and the fee, also bought a payment card for prescriptions.

David

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I had a similar thing happen to me because the dentist gave me incorrect information...so i had to pay a fine ...I told them ill pay them £1/mth eventally they said £8/mth. I think there are only certain conditions that get free prescriptions. So I buy a pre prescription certificate/card...£104/yr. Hope that helps.

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Hi, I have up to 10 items on prescription monthly & as I only get standard PIP I have to pay for them, as I have for some 5 years now. My degenerated discs, fibro & umpteen more things don't count as chronic. There's a list of chronic illnesses including MS & cancer, but not fibro. I don't want to take so many meds but have to. If they're charging you with fraud, good luck coz they're b'stards! You'd be better off getting a prepayment annual card. Was £104 a year & you can pay monthly.

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Hi

I live in Scotland and we don't pay for prescriptions .. if I did I have 10 different tablets I take a day ... and get these every 2 months from gp ... I wouldn't be able to pay for my tablets .. good luck sorting it out xx

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