wave and shout loudly ‘Hello Christine how are you doing’ and proceed to hand me the most enormous carrier bag you can imagine with my medicines in. I want the floor to swallow me up bless him!!! I am also on Enbrel injections which are delivered to my door.
What is interesting is I don’t pay for my prescriptions. Why you may ask? Am I any worse than any other rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. No, I’m probably in the same position as many others struggling with this debilitating disease. The difference is I have a Thyroid problem and was also recently diagnosed with Addison’s disease, meaning I am on long term drug replacement therapy in the form of thyroxine and hydrocortisone. These are listed as medical exemptions and prescriptions are therefore free.
How random is that!! I have asthma and desperately need my asthma medication too … in fact I would be in a real mess without it. But this is not on the exemption list. The Government are looking to remove indigestion/acid reflux medication from the list of exempt medications too. I need those too and again would really struggle without my medication to help with that.
The cost of a 12-month prescription prepayment certificate is £104.00, which for those on low incomes is unaffordable. We live in Oldham which is one of the poorest boroughs in the country with areas with high levels of poverty and deprivation, overcrowding, low educational attainment and high numbers on free school meals and housing benefit. We have many families in our area dependent on food banks and family support centres. Free prescriptions are essential to these families.
What is needed is a complete overhaul of the system, instead of a system which is inherently unfair and based on guidelines which were introduced many many years ago and don’t take into account the needs of today’s society. The list of exemptions no longer makes any sense. To add insult to injury there are free prescriptions in Scotland and Wales which makes it even more ludicrous.
I do agree with some things not being on prescription like paracetamol which cost pennies and other items which it costs more to dispense than the actual item itself but again that’s what should be reviewed.
You could say I’m lucky not to pay for my prescription. You could say it’s just a fluke and I happened to be diagnosed with a disease on the exemption list. Or in my case it’s buy one and get one free as I have two diseases on the exemption list. But I’m not lucky. I don’t want to have these diseases and I certainly don't want to take a shedload of meds, but I also don’t see why someone else with rheumatoid and an equally troublesome co-morbidity should have to pay for their prescriptions when I don’t.
The whole system needs overhauling to deal with these anomalies and it needs to be fair for everyone and not a matter of random diagnosis.
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