Toby Perkins – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Toby Perkins on 2015-12-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make it his policy to exempt people with long-term serious conditions from prescription charges for repeated renewals of their medication.

Alistair Burt

A person is entitled to apply for a medical exemption certificate exempting them from the prescription charge if they suffer from:

– a permanent fistula (including caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy, or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requires an appliance

– forms of hypoadrenalism (including Addison’s disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential

– diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism

– diabetes mellitus (except where treatment of the diabetes is by diet alone)

– hypoparathyroidism

– myasthenia gravis

– myxoedema

– epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy

– continuing physical disability which prevents the patient from leaving their residence without the help of another person

– they are undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment.

There are no plans to change this list.

Other extensive exemption arrangements are in place, in England, including those based on income, which support those who cannot afford to pay for their prescriptions. For those who need multiple prescriptions and do not qualify for exemption, Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPC) can be purchased, which allow someone to claim as many prescriptions as needed. A 12 month PPC costs £104 and benefits anyone who needs 13 or more prescriptions a year.