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Fatigue is something which impacts sufferers of fibromyalgia on a daily basis. Sleep is often poor and little, and… https://t.co/utgUhrnwYu

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Support the Prescription Promise Campaign

At the 2008 Labour Party Conference, the Prime Minister pledged to abolish prescription charges for anyone suffering from a long-term medical condition. The Prescription Promise Campaign, supported by charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Parkinson's Disease Society, is asking that Gordon Brown set out a clear plan of action which will allow him to fulfil his promise.

As of April 2009, cancer patients no longer have to pay for prescriptions, and rightly so. However, those suffering from long-term debilitating conditions such as asthma, arthritis and fibromyalgia (many of whom are on a low income) must still pay the current charge of £7.20 per item. For fibromyalgia patients, and those with similar pain conditions, this cost can be extremely prohibitive. Due to the nature of such complaints, many patients have to trial numerous medications until they find the one that best suits their condition whilst causing the least side-effects.
A proportion of those living on benefits may be entitled to a partial, or possibly a full, exemption from charges. However, this is not the case for all claimants and many choose to go without medication so that they can afford to feed themselves and their families. A 2007 survey carried out for the Citizens Advice Bureau ascertained that 800,000 patients in England chose not to collect prescriptions due to the restrictive costs involved.

It is likely that a percentage of those unable to afford prescription medication - the vast majority of whom are keen to actively contribute to society - would in fact be capable of work if they were able to manage their condition better through appropriate medication.

For those still able to work, there is even less support. Despite working through often intense muscular pain, depression and other distressing symptoms, fibromyalgia patients who are in employment are unlikely to be exempt from prescription charges. This is despite the fact that many sufferers are only able to work part-time due the fatigue and insomnia associated with the condition.

If you feel that those suffering from long-term serious medical conditions such as fibromyalgia should be exempt from prescription charges, please contact your MP. You can also sign the petition on this website.  To read more about the campaign and its supporters, or to register your support, you can look on Facebook at this page.

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