Tom Brake Calls on Government to introduce Fairer Prescription Charges

July 31, 2008 10:00 AM

Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington has lent his support to a parliamentary motion (EDM 1264) which calls on the Government to publish a public consultation on prescription charges in England, which was agreed to in July 2007, as soon as possible.

Latest research suggests that 800,000 people in England are going without vital medication because they cannot afford to pay for their prescriptions. This is despite the introduction of free prescriptions in Wales and the phasing out of charges in Scotland.

Commenting on the issue Tom Brake said "Patients in England shouldn't be treated as second class citizens. They deserve fairer treatment and the phasing out of prescription charges in Scotland and Wales shows that this can be done by the Government.'

Macmillan Cancer Support has identified how these charges are placing a long term financial burden on cancer patients in particular. With improving survival rates and the shift to outpatient treatments, cancer patients are increasingly liable for prescription charges over long periods of time. Macmillan believes that no one should have to pay for their prescriptions and that health service funding should not be raised by taxing the ill and vulnerable.

The charity, along with others, wants the Government to consider innovative ways to fund additional spending on the prescriptions budget in England.

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