NHS Prescription Charges Stop Patients Receiving Life-Changing Medication

 The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) today releases four shocking statistics to highlight how the cost of an NHS prescription in England is impacting on the lives, health and wellbeing of people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), following a report released by the Prescription Charges Coalition.

1. Nearly a third (31%) of people with RA who have been issued a prescription from their GP have not collected it due to the cost.  This means one in three people with RA do not take their medicine as prescribed.

2. Three quarters of those surveyed are not aware of the NHS Low Income Scheme (76%) and therefore many people are paying for their medication when they are entitled to free prescriptions.

3. Half of the people surveyed with RA do not have a Prescription Prepayment Certificate – because they feel it is not worth obtaining one, or it will be too expensive for a fluctuating condition.

4. Over half (55%) of people that missed medications due to the cost, claim that by not taking some of their medication, it has a direct and noticeably negative impact on their health.

Ailsa Bosworth, CEO at NRAS commented: “RA is a debilitating, frightening and potentially life-limiting condition. The fact that so many people living with this disease are failing to get the help their GPs prescribe in terms of medication is a travesty.  Everyone, regardless of their medical condition, should receive the medication they need to manage their health and improve their daily life.”

People with RA, their families, friends and colleagues can contact the NRAS helpline for advice on any of the above issues – free-phone 0800 298 7650 or email helpline@nras.org.uk.