The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Dear Jeremy Hunt MP,
In September 2008, the Prime Minster announced an ambition to abolish
prescription charges for patients with long-term conditions over the next few
years. Back in 2009 Diane Abbott MP was shocked to find out that people suffering from sickle cell disease and Thalassaemia have to pay for prescriptions. Health professionals tell us that the average sickle cell patient needs up to six prescriptions a month, with Thalassaemia patients needing up to eight prescriptions per month. With annual costs of up to £686, this could mean some patients are unable to purchase the treatments that are essential to keep symptoms under control. It is unfair that these charges put further pressure on people who are already living with a debilitating disease.” This view was echoed by UKTS Vice-President Chris Sotirelis who stated; “Until recently, Thalassaemia patients did not survive past childhood. While medicine has advanced to ensure that Thalassaemia patients live well into adulthood, the charges for prescriptions are outdated. Patients with Thalassaemia face many challenges, but paying for their prescriptions should not be one of them.”
Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia should be included in the government’s review of prescription charges. Since 2009 nothing has changed, Sickle Cell patients are not prepared to wait any longer.
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