Prescription charges

People with Parkinson's in England who work have to pay for their prescriptions. We don't believe this is right or fair - so we're campaigning for change.

What's the problem?

People with Parkinson's in England who work have to pay for their prescriptions, and we know prescription charges are a barrier to people with Parkinson's taking their medication as prescribed.

Unfair exemption list

The Government's medical exemption list says who doesn't have to pay for their prescriptions. This includes groups like children, over 60s, pregnant women and people with some medical conditions - but not Parkinson's.

The list was created almost 50 years ago, and is out of date. It is unacceptable that people with Parkinson's are not included.

What evidence do we have that this is an issue?

The government has done no assessment of the consequences of prescription charges on people with long-term conditions. Yet research we helped conduct (PDF, 220KB) showed that many people with Parkinson's don't take their medication due to cost.

They often take time off work, or end up in hospital. We believe this has a severe financial impact on the health service, and dilutes the money that prescription charges raise.

Also recent research we funded with Crohn's and Colitis UK (PDF, 1MB) shows that scrapping prescription charges for people with these 2 long-term conditions would save the NHS money.

What are we doing about it?

We campaign on this issue as co-chairs of the Prescription Charges Coalition, an alliance of over 40 organisations concerned about the detrimental impact that prescription charges are having on working age people with long-term conditions.

As leaders of the Coalition we are calling for:

  • a clear commitment from the government to reform the medical exemption criteria to include all those with long-term conditions
  • information to be given routinely to people with long-term conditions about prescription charge exemptions, the prepayment certificate, and the NHS Low Income Scheme

How can you support our campaign?

We are on the countdown to the 50th anniversary of the creation of the medical exemption criteria - which was published in June 1968.

The Prescription Charges Coalition is campaigning to reform the criteria and get all people with long-term conditions, including Parkinson's, exempted from prescription charges.

Now we’ve handed our petition in to Downing Street we’re asking you to meet with your MP to gain their support for our campaign. This handy Guide to Lobbying Your MP on Prescription Charges (pdf, 977KB), shares everything you need to know to speak to your MP and get them on board with our campaign.

With your help we can keep this issue high on the agenda and make the case for change.

Keep up to date

To receive campaign updates please subscribe to the Prescription Charges Coalition mailing list

You can get more information about the coalition on the Prescription Charges Coalition website or by following them on twitter at @PrescriptionCC.

Prescription charges report

Research conducted by the York Health Economics Consortium  found that scrapping prescription charges for people with 2 long-term conditions – Parkinson's and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) – would save the NHS money.

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York Health Economics Consortium 2018 Report (PDF, 1MB)
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Help with health costs

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for help towards health costs.

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Keep up to date

To receive campaign updates please subscribe to the Prescription Charges Coalition mailing list

You can get more information about the coalition on the Prescription Charges Coalition website or by following them on Twitter at @PrescriptionCC.    

Tell your MP how unfair prescription charges are

We're stepping up the campaign by asking supporters to speak to their MP.

Use the Prescription Charges Coalition guide to raise the issue with your MP and ask for change.

Download the guide
Continuing Healthcare Alliance