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Election manifestos ignore free prescription promise

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The promised abolition of prescription charges for people with long-term conditions has not been included in any of the three main political parties’ election manifestos.

Asthma UK is among a leads a coalition of charities who have campaigned extensively to see a promise implemented before the general election.

The findings of Professor Gilmore’s independent review of prescription charges were reported to Ministers before Christmas, and Asthma UK campaigned for the Government to publish the findings of the review, and its response, as a matter of urgency.

However, progress has been stalled by the Government’s failure to publish or respond to the review before Parliament was dissolved.

Neil Churchill, chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition and Asthma UK’s chief executive, said: “We are extremely disappointed that none of the three main political parties have made a commitment in their manifestos to abolish prescription charges for people who suffer with long-term conditions like arthritis, asthma, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

Gordon Brown promised people with long-term conditions a year and a half ago that prescription charges would be abolished for them and many are frustrated that this has not become a reality. We also know that lots of people with long-term conditions are struggling to afford essential treatments, which can result in them not taking the medicines they need, or having to choose between buying different items.

“People with long-term conditions, their families and carers are passionate about this issue and make up a significant proportion of the electorate, so we demand that all three political parties outline their position on prescription charging as soon as possible.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • They lied and broke a few promises. Shocker. Vote UKIP, their policies are amongst the best for the NHS as well as the country as a whole.

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  • Prescription charges are non existent for most long term conditions like diabetes and heart failure. I fail to see why most people cannot be expected to pay for them anyhow - we all know that the less people invest in their own health the less likely they are to take any interest in taking medications appropriately. Health Psychology 101. Like 'free' buses and the abolishment of 'toll' roads and 'free' education in Scotland, somebody is paying for it. The English.

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