For working-age people with Parkinson's, prescription charges are yet another hurdle they must contend with. We're calling for the government to scrap these charges for people living with Parkinson's.
Last week the government announced yet another rise in prescription charges to £9 per item from 1 April, which will hit working age people with Parkinson's in England.
Since 2010, the prescription charge has risen by 26% compared to a rise in average earnings of 16% over the same period.
Media attention for our campaign
Following the announcement about the increase as Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition PCC), our concerns were featured in several media outlets.
a clear case for scrapping the charge
We know that prescription charges are a barrier for people taking their medication. In summer 2017, a third of respondents to a PCC survey reported that they have skipped or reduced doses due to cost.
And last May, research we commissioned showed why prescription charges for people with Parkinson's are a false economy.
The research found that scrapping charges the charges would save the NHS £800,000 every year by reducing unnecessary GP visits and hospital admissions caused by people not collecting all the medication they’ve been prescribed.
The medical exemption list, which determines who pays for prescriptions, is over 50 years old and is grossly out of date. It leaves out people with several long-term conditions that rely on medication to keep well, including Parkinson's.
Play your part
Last year, over 22,000 supporters with various long-term conditions signed a petition that called on the government to scrap the charge.
As Chair of the PCC, we will continue to keep the pressure on MPs and decision makers to scrap the charges for everyone living with a long-term condition.
But you can play your part by arranging to meet with your local MP to discuss this important issue.
Our easy to use lobby pack (PDF, 954KB) is filled with practical information and tips to help you arrange meetings with your MP and ask them to support our prescription charge campaign.
Lloyd Tingley, Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser at Parkinson's UK said: "Parkinson's UK and the Prescription Charges Coalition are determined to ensure prescription charges are scrapped for people living with long-term conditions. We're pleased that the national media have worked with us to call out what is another unfair rise in charges, which will hit those living with Parkinson's and long-term conditions in the pocket the most."
You can keep up to date with all our latest prescription charge campaigns by joining our Campaigns Network.
Questions about prescription charges
Please call our helpline on 0808 800 0303, email [email protected] or contact our Parkinson's local advisers to answer any questions you have about Parkinson's, including ways to spread the cost of prescription charges.