Prescription payments. When will the Government cut us some slack with an incurable disease?

I'm going to have a really good rant now, because I have been so upset and disillusioned over the last few weeks. I'll explain it thus: I no longer work as I was made redundant last year. My husband's income was just over 14 thousand last year. On account of my receiving £99 per week for 12 weeks of the financial year in contribution based ESA (which stopped 1/07/12), we exceeded the threshold by £100 for the financial year, but could apply for an HC2 certificate in the meantime. Dutifully, I applied for health costs with the HC1 form 2 weeks ago. I had money for one item on my prescription of 8 items at the time. I decided to opt for the Ramipril, as I need to keep my BP low & can live with pain. I don't have enough money available for a pre-payment certificate. Two days ago, I received notification that my husband and I have £15.70 disposable income per week (I receive no benefits), and neither of us are eligible for free prescriptions. I cried my eyes out. Both my husband and I have worked for our entire lives. I have to pretend to my husband that I'm not in pain when he's asking me if I have enough money for shopping, bills etc.

11 Replies

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  • Andrea, what i can say to that would help,well i will have a go. Apply again and appeal against any negative answers. Love sylvi.xxx

  • Andrea it really sucks. I can't believe how immoral this current coalition government is that it makes people who have a disease like ours pay for the medicines that we are advised to take. This isn't the USA and we pay a huge amount in taxes and many of us have worked our backs off for decades.

    Funnily enough I had a conversation today with a friend who was railing about Alex Salmond and the SNP's free prescription policy and how ridiculous it is for someone like her who rarely needs medicines and can well afford to pay for them. I said I'd rather things were this way than for people like me to have to fill in endless forms. I think anyone diagnosed with a chronic disease should be exempt from all this form filling - I used to get mine free for being hypothyroid and that only required a GP's certificate and one form and then that was it. Sure it's different in England now though. That people are forced to beg and grovel for medicines and basic benefits is a breach of their human rights in my opinion.

  • Andrea So sorry to hear of your trauma.

    Are you aware That you can pay for a pre paid prescription by standing order. Off £10 per month.

    I know this is a lot of money but it would guarantee that you get your drugs on a regular basis.

    Regards

    Carole

    I AGREE whole heartedly with tilda---all people with chronic diseases SHOULD be EXEMPT from charges.

  • That sucks..... Yes we have to have some rules, but they could at least have some leeway in them and recognise reasonable limits. And it's inhumane not to have the drugs you need, we're in 21st century not middle ages. Are you in England? I paid for my pre-payment prescription by direct debit last year, it was about £10 a month for 10 out of the 12 months of the year, so only a couple of £ more than 1 prescription a month. Pollyx

  • I have long believed that it should be conditions that are exempt, not people. My sister is hypothyroid but instead of just getting her thyroid drugs free, if she goes to her gp with an unrelated infection, she'll get antibiotics for nothing. If it was free for drugs prescribed fir specific conditions and not for everything then surely there would be more to go round.

    Bx

  • Yes, that free drugs rule for things like thyroid really doesn't make sense if you then get all sorts of other drugs that everyone else has to pay for free. I'm lucky I'm in Scotland though.

    Andrea, I think it would probably be well worth while going to see the disability person at your local CAB. They can do a full benefits eligibility check for you and make sure that you and your husband are getting everything that you are entitled to. Its amazing how often they can come up with something that you hadn't thought about, or are on the wrong rate for, and it could make a really big difference to you.

  • Hi while I agree with most of what's already been said I would really push you to have a benefits check, an income of just over 14,000 for 2 people is ridiculous you'd get more on benefits. You must go to the CAB for a benefit/tax credit assessment.

    Also, you may not be entitled to free prescriptions but on an income of £14,000 you should qualify for partial costs certificate (HC3 certificate), the cut off is £16,000 income. This should have been done automatically with the HC1 form. I've added the link below giving information, also the benefits calculator so you can see if your entitled to any other benefits such as tax credit, housing/council tax benefit.

    nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcos...

    direct.gov.uk/en/diol1/doit...

    Good luck hope you can sort something out.

    Beth xx

  • I totally agree, why don't we get free prescriptions? What gets me is that my medication keeps changing due to bad reactions so I may pay for a month and then end up giving two weeks back, why don't we get refunds? I will be taking three lots back to the pharmacist tomorrow :-(

  • I have same grumble as "2plus2" - I have to pay for my prescriptions as I work part time. Before I was diagnosed I kept hoping it was just a blip and I would not need medication every month so had to pay out nearly £30 each month - then once diagnosed decided it was better to pay the pre-pay prescription fee in order to save me money.... so many changes to medication I could not afford to keep paying out each time they moved me to new or extra medicine..... but what really infuriates me is a blog I saw the other day from a Chinese person wanting to study at Leicester University where the advice appearred to suggest that as a university course is over 6 months duration and therefore she might get her blood tests and MTX free!!! I know this sounds descriminatory, but I have paid NI and tax for the last 30 years and I have to pay for my prescriptions - she has paid nothing into our system and once qualified will prob still not contribute to our countries funds - but yet she might be elligible for free blood tests and medication... is this really fair to UK citizens :-(

  • Err, yes it is fair. I think foreign students pay a phenomenal amount of university fees, more than UK students. And there are many reciprocal arrangements between countries which makes it much easier for us to travel too. To me the issue is that if you have any chronic disease and are on a low income hthen you should get extra support. But overall I think that being asked to pay a max of £104 pounds a year for drugs that could cost up to £25,000 is not a bad deal - long live the NHS. Polly

  • I had a form from my dr which he filled in and sent off to say that I have r a and that it won't get any better and that I will need prescriptions permanent but I cant remember what the form was but I now am exempt from paying it may be worth mentioning to your dr as I am sure that only your dr holds these forms xx

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