Government urged to end prescription charges for people with cystic fibrosis

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is today calling on the Government to urgently update the prescription charge exemption list to include people with cystic Fibrosis (Wednesday 2 February).

Those with cystic fibrosis – a life-limiting genetic condition – are footing the bill of their daily medicines due to rules drawn up in 1968, when they would not have been expected to live beyond childhood. This means – despite the huge treatment burden – around 2,500 people with CF in England do not qualify for free prescriptions.

A Westminster Hall debate is scheduled for 14:30 today to discuss the issue.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has tabled a question at today’s debate, said: “As someone who has a long-term medical condition – epilepsy – it has always amazed me that adults with cystic fibrosis have to pay for their prescriptions whilst I do not.

“I hope this debate can explore the impact this has on the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, and the difference it would make if cystic fibrosis were added to the list of exemption conditions.

1968 was the last time a full list was drawn up. Medicine and society have moved on, so should the exemption list, and reflect modern day experience”.

Clare Corbett, Director of External Affairs at Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “It’s appalling that people with cystic fibrosis still have to pay for their daily medicines, because of an outdated list made years ago when they weren’t expected to live into adulthood. People with cystic fibrosis need to take up to 40 tables a day just to stay healthy. Having the condition already brings added costs and prescription charges are yet another layer of financial burden.

“We want the Government to review the outdated exemption list so that everyone with CF has free access to the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives.”