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Prescription Charges Coalition statement on the proposed reintroduction of prescription charges in Northern Ireland

FMA UK are a member of the Prescription Charges Coalition

The Prescription Charges Coalition of nearly 40 charities and organisations believes that everyone with a long-term condition should be exempt from prescription charges wherever they live in the UK.  Currently, people with long-term conditions do not pay prescription charges in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  However, the majority of those who are of working age in England are charged.

Medication is extremely important to help people with long-term conditions to manage their symptoms and lead independent lives.  There is a strong evidence base which demonstrates that prescription charges act as a barrier to people with long-term conditions obtaining the medication they require. This can lead to poor management of the condition and complications that may result in greater cost to health and social services.

People with long-term conditions in Northern Ireland would be disadvantaged by the reintroduction of charges and some may be unable to afford their medicines, potentially leading to poor health, increased hospital admissions and lower productivity. 

Governments can choose how to raise revenue and support the availability of specialist medicines.  The Prescription Charges Coalition do not believe it is appropriate, reasonable or fair to do this at the expense of those with long-term conditions and will be responding accordingly to the consultation.

February 2015

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