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People always ask me, ‘Well don’t you get your prescriptions free because of your impairment?’.  The answer is ‘no’. Unfortunately a lot of chronic health conditions do not meet the criteria for a medical exemption card as it is a surprisingly short list. So, it is important to know that there is another option.

With prescriptions now costing £9.90, it would mean that, on average, I would be spending £108.90 every month on just my medication, instead I am paying £11.45. The truth is, that without the NHS prescription prepayment card, I wouldn’t be able to afford my medication. I would have to choose which medication is the most important to me and go without the rest. The issue is, how would you make that kind of choice?

Do I keep my inhalers? I don’t always need them, but breathing is pretty important. Do I keep my heart medications? I don’t experience symptoms but then again, I do want to ensure that the ticker is still ticking. Do I keep my pain relief? If I am in chronic pain, then will I be able to look after my children? Will I be able to work? Will I even be able to function through the day?

All in all, I have seven types of medication for the different symptoms I experience from one health condition. For someone with more than one condition or more complex health needs, this cost could be a great deal higher. A disabled person already spends more every month and with every cost rising exponentially, a prescription prepayment certificate that takes a bit of the pressure off.

It’s simple to set up through the NHS website and you can pay monthly rather than yearly which makes it even more manageable. Once it’s complete, you can relax knowing that all your prescriptions for that year are covered. If you get more than one prescription a month you are saving money. If you know someone who is struggling financially or if you are struggling, this could be one less thing you need to worry about.

You can find out more and how to apply on the NHS website.

Steph – Training and Development Officer, Independent Lives.

While Prescription Prepayment Certificates can offer significant relief for medication costs, the rising cost-of-living affects disabled people and those with chronic conditions in many other ways too. Our recent report, “Pressure points: Experiences of the cost-of-living on disabled people and carers in Sussex,” provides a comprehensive look at these challenges.