The last few months have seen a lot of debate about the spiralling cost of living. This post shares some of the work the Coalition has been doing to keep prescription charges on the UK government's agenda.
Some people with long-term health conditions have told us that paying for their medicines is causing them sleepless nights.
While we welcomed the charge being frozen earlier in the year we know it's still a steep price to pay to stay healthy.
Jade, who lives with Cystic Fibrosis shared her experience with us: "The year I turned 19, I was in my first year at university. I had just about found my feet, managing my complex and exhausting chronic health condition independently for the first time in my life, whilst also studying full-time. The day my friendly campus pharmacist told me that he would have to start charging me for my prescriptions, his voice quiet and his eyes unable to meet mine, it felt like I was being punished with yet another hurdle. That day, I left without my essential medications and I went home in tears.
"Everywhere I go, people are shocked and incredulous that I have to pay for my prescriptions. Friends, strangers, even healthcare providers – everyone can see the injustice. The cost of an annual £108.10 pre-payment certificate feels like a kick in the teeth, like I’m paying to stay alive.
"It’s only right that the outdated exemption rules are reconsidered, to acknowledge that people with Cystic Fibrosis are now living into their 40s, 50s and beyond."
In May the Coalition wrote to Jeremy Hunt, the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee asking him to support our calls for the UK government to review the prescription charges exemption list. The list hasn't been comprehensively reviewed since its introduction in 1968, apart from the addition of cancer in 2009.
In June supporters from Coalition member organisations shared their stories on Twitter urging Jeremy Hunt to investigate the charge. This additional pressure has helped to secure a meeting with him in September. As we prepare for the meeting we're keen to gather examples of how the charge has affected you - please send your story into our email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're also working with campaign group 38 degrees to understand whether their supporters have been able to get their medicine as the cost of living rises. And we plan to share this short survey on this site, so we can capture your experiences too.
Here you'll find information about the Prescription Charges Coalition's latest activities