Prescription charges

People with Parkinson's in England who are under 60 have to pay for their prescriptions. We don't believe this is right or fair, so we're campaigning for change.

People with Parkinson's in England who are under 60 have to pay for their prescriptions. 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 states 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The list was created over 50 years ago, and is out of date. It is unacceptable that people with Parkinson's are not included.

New proposals

In 2021, the government consulted on its proposals to align prescription charges with the State Pension Age. This means if introduced, people over 60 will have to pay for their medications.

We strongly opposed the plans and have been working with other charities and MPs to raise our concerns. 

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, 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.

We campaign on this issue as Chairs of the Prescription Charges Coalition, an alliance of over 50 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:

  • the government to scrap the charge or at least commit to reforming the medical exemption criteria to include everyone 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.

The Prescription Charges Coalition is campaigning to scrap the charge or at least commit to reforming the criteria so all people with long-term conditions, including Parkinson's, are exempt from prescription charges.

If you've been unable to afford your medicines and want to tell us about it, please share your story

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

Keep up to date

You can get more information about the coalition on the Prescription Charges Coalition website.

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.

Keep up to date

You can get more information about the coalition on the Prescription Charges Coalition website.