Charities call for Gordon Brown to keep his prescription promise
Posted Wednesday 20 January 2010
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The Prescription Charges Coalition, of which Mind is a member, has called on Gordon Brown to keep his promise made at the Labour Party Conference in 2008 and scrap prescription charges for all those with long-term conditions.
Prescription charges are a deeply unfair burden on people with long-term conditions – those who need medicines the most for day-to-day quality of life. Many people with long-term conditions rely on their medicines to enable them to carry out basic, everyday tasks and avoid the severe impact their condition can have on their mobility and ability to work.
The Coalition is particularly concerned that large numbers of people with long-term conditions are risking their health by not taking their medication because of cost. Shaun Johnson, a mental health service user, explains that
If people are in a situation, and I’ve been there many times, when you’re having to make a choice between essentials like food and heating and utility bills and medication, often it’s the medication that doesn’t get taken. And, frankly, both your physical and mental health suffers if you’re denied any of these.
The Prescription Charges Coalition is made up of 20 charities all calling for those with long term conditions to be exempt from prescription charges. They are: Androgen Insensitivity Support Group, Arthritis Care, Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Asthma UK, Behcets Syndrome Society, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Disability Alliance, Klinefelter's Syndrome Association, Mind, MS Society, National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease , National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Parkinson's Disease Society, Pernicious Anaemia Society, Rethink, Skin Care Campaign, Stroke Association and Terence Higgins Trust.