Free prescriptions

Does anyone get free prescriptions due to RA not because of benefits they are on. Been to hospital today got talking to a lady with RA & she said she contacted them explained about her condition & if she doesnt have the medication it would affect her life & she has got it for life it wont go away. They sent her an excemption card. If anyone else has got this please let me know how you go about it. Xx Alison

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14 Replies

  • Hi

    I get free prescriptions because I have an under active thyroid, it is listed as one of the medical conditions for exemptions, as it diabetes. I don't believe RA is listed as such as conditions have to be life threatening if you don't have access to the meds. Quality of life threatening isn't enough. Your GP surgery should keep copies of the exemption application pack which would list the exempt conditions, your GP would need to sign any application off before it goes in

  • There are fairly well defined criteria for getting free prescriptions on medical grounds, and your GP would need to confirm that you met them, but definitely worth asking about. Just be aware that the rules really don't make a whole lot of sense (i.e. you can see why some illnesses are included, but not why some others aren't). The other option if you are on a reasonably low income (but not eligible with income support or other similar benefits) is to get an low income exemption - you can pick up the HC1 forms from jobcentre and then send them off. If you are eligible they send you a little plastic card that you have to show. It can also get you the dental and optical benefits too. All the information is on this website

  • This is one of the areas that NRAS actively campaigns on - along with a coalition of other charities.

    Cece x

  • Thank you all for the advice xx Alison

  • RA does not currently qualify for free prescriptions. If you are not exempt on any other grounds then your best bet is a Prescription Prepayment Certificate which can save you loads, depending on how many items you are prescribed. The cost breaks even at 13 items per year. Details here

  • Or move to Wales...

  • I went to my GP and asked for an exemption for medicine and I filled in the form and they sent it off a few weeks later I received a five year exemption card, I do have diabetes and that may be something to do with it and it might be worth a chat to your GP.


  • Move to Scotland

  • I would love to move to either wales or scotland very keen on both :-) . Dont quite understand why england have to pay?? O well when i win the lottery i shall probably oppt for wales :-) . Xx Alison

  • Good call!

  • Having lived in wales for 6 years I'd rather pay for my prescriptions than move back!

  • Now now dont want to start upsetting the welsh :-) xx Alison

  • Hello :) I turned 19 in May an had to begin paying for my prescriptions...I wrote to my local MP who shared my concerns about having to pay for this and he wrote to the health minister who's remit it falls under. She unfortunately wrote back telling me that they have seen no reason to alter the current list of exemptions since it was created in the sixties! So unfortunately I have had no luck with this! Who did the lady contact do you know? :) x

  • Hi , she said she went onto the nhs website xx Alison

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