To make that campaigning effective, we need up-to-date information on how prescription charges affect the lives of people with long-term conditions.
By taking our new survey you’ll be contributing valuable evidence and bringing us one step closer to securing free prescriptions for everyone with a long-term condition. People like Heidi, who shared her experience with us.
“I’m forty and have Parkinson’s I take 36 tablets a day, as well as wearing a medicated patch. I also take a lot of pain medication for dystonia. I have a total of 19 prescriptions which is £160 per month or £1915 per year. I currently pay over £100 a year for the pre-payment certificate, which is cheaper than buying the medicine individually. However I think what isn't taken into account is the hidden cost of living with a long term condition like Parkinson's. I catheterise 3 times a day. To do this I need disposable gloves, and antibacterial wipes. I need to use alcoholic gel when washing my hands, which I do about fifteen times a day. I also had to pay for an attachable light due to poorly lit disabled toilets. The NHS only supply the catheter."
"Parkinson's has caused me to lose a lot of weight very quickly. As a result, I'm under a dietician and am advised to have a protein shakes and supplement drinks daily. Protein powder costs around £50 per pot. I have difficulty swallowing which means I need to drink thickened drinks, so when I'm out and about, I’ve had to buy a protein shaker style drink bottle to be able to thicken up the liquids I’m drinking. I want to stay healthy, and my GP and neurologist said vitamins would be a good idea, these cost me about £97 per year. To help my mobility there are numerous aids I have been advised to buy, for example a foam roller £40, walking poles £70, yoga equipment £100, gadgets to help undo jars etc. All these things mount up, and with the added cost of individual prescriptions or the pre-payment certificate it’s really expensive to keep my condition under control.”
Please support people like Heidi. If you have a long term condition and currently pay, or have paid in the past, for your medication (or you pay for the pre-payment certificate) spare 10 to 15 minutes and fill in our survey.
You can also share the survey with your friends and family, and on social media. The more people we hear from, the stronger our case for change will be.