Prescription charges - our policy statement
Find out what we believe about prescription charges for people
This policy statement has been developed with advice and
guidance from people affected by Parkinson's, health and social
care professionals and other experts.
What do we mean by prescription charges?
My drugs are my lifeline. Without them I would have no movement at all. So why should I have to pay?
Some medicines you can only get by prescription, usually from
your GP. In England each prescribed item costs £7.65.
Prescription charges were abolished in Wales in 2007, in
Northern Ireland in 2010 and in Scotland in 2011.
What we believe
We believe that all people with Parkinson's and other long-term
conditions should be exempt from prescription charges wherever they
live in the UK.
Why we believe this
Medication is extremely important in
helping people with Parkinson's manage their symptoms and continue
to lead independent lives.
People with Parkinson's are often required to pay multiple
prescription charges, due to the number of medications prescribed
for the management of a wide range of motor
and non-motor symptoms.
We're particularly concerned about the additional financial
hardship that charges present for younger people with Parkinson's.
For example, the income rules on free prescriptions can mean
those on incapacity benefits still have to pay for prescription
If people can't afford their prescribed medication their
symptoms may get worse. And this may lead to a greater cost to
health and social services.
What's the evidence?
According to our 2007 survey of 13,000
people with Parkinson's, prescription charges are a major issue
and campaign priority. We found 73% of people with Parkinson's
under 60 were paying prescription charges.
The survey and other evidence has found there is low awareness
of pre-payment schemes. These can help someone manage the costs of
There is also evidence that additional financial burden of
prescription charges can discourage people from taking their
Full policy statement
Parkinson's UK policy statement: Prescription charges (PDF,