Thanks to the Campaigns team. I currently live in Wales where prescriptions are free but am preparing to move back into England so this is great news.
I also asked at the doctors for the form,they didnt have one either they said they have not arrived yet and she said come back in april????????????
When I phoned, my srugery told me that I should ask for the normal Medical Exemption form. Apparently there are two, one for medical and the other for expecting mothers.
You surgery should have it.
I phoned NHS direct the day after the press announced it. They were told anout it by a caller, and had to do a lot of research in a very short period of time. Seems that the government does not really want patients to apply.
Asked for a form while I was at my GP surgery today. The receptionist knew nothing about the scheme and had to go and ask the practice manager. Result was they haven't received the forms yet and don't know when they will, so suggested I pop in each time I'm passing. I'm fortunate enough to be able to 'pop in' regularly but for many it's not so easy. It's not the surgery's fault, but would have been nice if the government could have ensured the forms were available when the announcement was made!
We'd advise you to speak to your GP. However, our understanding is that if you are still being prescribed treatments or drugs associated with your cancer diagnosis (including Tamoxifen) you will be entitled to receive free prescriptions - no matter how long ago your diagnosis was.
If you have any questions, please do call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 or there's now more information on the web www.breastcancercare.org.uk/prescriptions
Laura (Policy and Campaigns team)
I was dx in jan 04 WLE, chemo, rad's and am still on Tamoxifen......am I entitled to claim for free prescription charges or does it have to be just newly diagnosed [ in regard to the 5 year exemption cert].....I also have taken since dx diazepam, citalopram an sleeping tablets?
Hi Suzanne -- please do get the application form to see if you'll be elligible -- I haven't seen the form yet, but I'm sure the BCC helpline will have appropriate advice for you once they've had a look at it.
Please don't jump down my throat about this as I know I am being cheeky but I have had WLE and rads for DCIS but am not receiving any other treatment beyond check ups with the Oncologist. I am currently a jobseeker but I don't qualify for free prescriptions as I receive conrtribution-based JSA rather than income-based JSA and my OH works full time. Would having DCIS qualify me to get free prescriptions or am I classed as cured now surgery has removed it?
Because I am ER postive I have been told I must not take HRT so I was prescribed another medication to alleviate my symptoms but Â£7.10 is a lot to pay out when I only receive Â£62 ish per week.
Well done BCC and all others who campaigned for this! And thanks for the info above!
Just to let you know that Breast Cancer Care has been campaigning for free prescriptions for people affected by cancer since 2006. We are delighted with the details that have emerged today for people with cancer in England.
The information that we have is:
* Exemption certificates cover all prescriptions, not just those for cancer treatments
* Certificates last for 5 years. They can be renewed after this time if you are still undergoing treatment for:
Cancer (includes tamoxifen or other hormonal treatments and prescription of lymphoedema garments)
The effects of cancer (includes pain relief and effects directly related to cancer that did not exist before the cancer diagnosis such as a change in mental health)
o The effects of cancer treatment (includes all side effects of chemotherapy or late effects caused by radiation)
Refunds and applying for certificates:
• The certificates will not be valid until 1 April 2009. However you can apply for certificates from 9th Feb. It has been reported that the health Minister, Dawn Primarolo is urging patients to go to their GPs from this week to get the form signed. We would encourage everyone to visit their GPs to get hold of the form.
• After 1 April, if you are still waiting for your exemption certificate, you should ask the dispenser for an NHS receipt (FP57) (which is also a refund claim form) when you pay a prescription charge – refunds will then be backdated to the 1 April 2009.
• People who are aged 60 and over are exempt from NHS prescription charges on age grounds and do not need to apply for the certificate.
• People who are exempt because they are receiving a relevant benefit e.g. income support, may wish to apply for a medical exemption certificate so they are covered if their financial circumstances change.
This information for England will be updated on the web pages shortly. More information about Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is here: www.breastcancercare.org.uk/prescriptions but in short,
WALES – they are still free
NORTHERN IRELAND – reduced to Â£3 per item. They will be completely abolished by 2010.
SCOTLAND – reduced to Â£5 per item. They will go down to Â£4 per item from 1 April 2009 and will be reduced until phased out in April 2011.
You can also call our helpline for more information – 0808 800 6000
Laura, Policy and Campaigns team.
Thanks Marilyn going to GP Thursday will ask for mine.
Just looked at the BBC website, which reports:
"Gordon Brown announced in September he was abolishing charges for the treatment of cancer and its effects from 1 April. Patients can apply for five-year exemption certificates entitling them to all their NHS prescriptions free of charge, not just those for cancer. Application forms can be collected from GP surgeries and hospital clinics. Applications received by 24 March will be processed in time for the start of the scheme on 1 April. Patients who do not receive their certificate in time may have any prescription charges they have paid since 1 April refunded."
So . . . it's off to our GP surgeries or hospitals to get the forms, fill them in and submit them in time for the 1st of April.
Have to go to your GP or hospital clinic for exemption certificate - still not sure whether Tamoxifen will qualify - after all, they do say that DCIS is "pre-cancer" !!!!!!
They also said it will be an exemption certificate for 5 years! Think it applies to everyone - where can I get the forms?
its just been on gmtv that from today cancer patients can apply for these free things,does anybody know if its everybody or just depends on stage of your cancer etc.Its not just the cancer drugs you will get free,its any prescription they said on the news.
About time too everyone should get free prescriptions for cancer even if you had to apply on a yearly basis.
Unfortunately it does not apply in Scotland, prescription charges are being phased out for all in stages i think it will be 2011
before they are free. I get mine free now due to a recently dx under-active thyroid (think i would rather pay).
Ajxxx..She probably was thinking that, i was told i would get a piece in jam at anybody,s door when i mentioned my free scripts.
LOL Jane, I thought your post was going to give us all the information we needed as you are always so informed about everything!!
Flippin typical about missing out isn't it.
I mentioned this to someone recently and I swear she nearly said how lucky I was to get free 'scripts but just stopped herself.
Memory fails me...they weren't free most of the 50s.
1952-1961 1 shilling
1961-1965 2 shillings
1968-1971 half a crown (12,5p)
Sorry to be a nerd
I think it was before that...I remember a shilling in old money!
I remember when the prescription charge was brought in and it was 20p.
Just my luck....I get to 60 and free prescriptions anyway two weeks before they're free for cancer patients.
So I'm old enuf to remember the glorious 50s when prescriptions were free for everyone.
I recently asked about this at my local GP pharmacy and they knew nothing about it. They said the BBC probably knows more than we do!! We will be the last to know!!! Very helpful.
Prescriptions are not free yet in Scotland ,there is a reducing charge over a few years and then they will be free.
I agree with you debbi that it's not fair on who gets these free prescriptions.
My cousin and his wife decided to give up smoking and got those patches from their GP on a free prescription and they both work
while I have to pay for my tamox every three months for five years.
Hope I qualify for the free ones.
just read that marge,it seems like not every cancer patient is going to get free prescriptions.oh, burst my bubble then..thought i was going to save some money,I had an arguement a while back with someone whose sister is on methadone,which in my eyes is a self induced addiction,where as those of us who have or had cancer have to pay....of course she got the methadone free as she was not working,makes me laugh the rules in this country.
Hi , thanks for all the feedback. The free prescription forms will not be available til April apparently, but my gp gave me existing one and said just fill in 'cancer' under other conditions! It does not apply to what medication you are on, just like others with some long standing conditions...all your prescriptions will be free. The only slight query I have is when you stop being a cancer patient? (In a lot of cases, never!), but I guess sometimes Dr's might state that if you have been free of cancer for 5 years, you are in remission? Don't know, and will be interested to see how it pans out. I was quite surprised when I rang up Mcmillan financial help line to discover they were not clear about the position, especially as they campaigned for it, but it may be the Government that is keeping under wraps. Perhaps we all need to get onto our MP's and tell THEM to find out!
hallo ladies, there is a little info on Macmillan site relating to this, as you have already ststed it's not very clear at what stage in your illness this applies to
I heard on the grapevine that prescriptions were going to be free for cancer patients, but know no more. I did feel it was unfair that we had to pay for medication during treatment, as I believed that they were free if you had a life threatening illness!!!!! I have a PPC and pay monthly for it, so would be interested to know how it will all work and what treatment will actually be free, as I have other health issues that I take medication for to. Will thy and find out and report back.
I thought you got free prescriptions in scotland anyway?This is good to hear for me though as I have to pay for tamoxifen and zoladex.
Think it is just England, dotchas, but worth checking D o H website.
The form is the same as for other exempt conditions (diabetes, thyroid disorders etc) and you get it from your GP surgery. It is not clear how soon everyone can apply though, and surely there will be a big flurry!
Will this apply in Scotland too?
When i picked up my prescription last week and i mentioned this. Pharmacist said he was still waiting for info ie who actually qualified, how you got your exemption card etc.
Gordon Brown said this would be done, at the last Labour party conference. Free prescriptions for cancer patients - regardless of what drugs are being prescribed.
According to the 10 downing street website, from April 1st the government will abolish perscription charges for all cancer patients.This will mean that cancer patients will not have to pay perscription charges for any NHS perscribed medicines. I assume we will have to get an exemption ticket from our GP.
I have had free prescriptions since summer 2007 as we are entitled to a small amount of working tax credit via our small business. I couldn't get benefits when I was ill and only found out about tax credits by chance when I emailed MacMillan with a comment about one of their campaigns and an adviser rang me. Nobody from the IR or DWP told us this and we missed out on 8 months payments, which would have been a great help when I was ill and reliant on savings!
My breast nurse mentioned that today but didn't know if i was just, say, Arimidex, or all unrelated drugs. All will become clear but my PPC runs out in February too! Does the moderator know?
Love to all
Is it just for cancer drugs or all drugs - and does it last forever, as breast cancer can come back and you can have side effects from treatment that need treating?
A friend at work has diabetes and he gets every prescription free
mind you it is a chronic condition. I gave up treatment ages ago admittedly partly influenced by the cost of prescriptions but not entirely - didn't like the side effects or having to keep going to the doctors to get prescriptions
Did you know that all cancer patients will be entitled to free prescriptions from 1st April? BUT, it doesn't look like you can actually apply until that date! I have tried to get up to date info from my health centre, the NHS Business Services Authority who issue pre-payment certificate, McMillan financial advice and many other sources. Finally found info on D of H website. At last! You don't have to be terminally ill, as it applies to all cancer patients. I don't know if that will mean within 5 years of diagnosis or what?
Anyone else know more about it? I spoke to my GP, as my pre-pay runs out on 5th Feb, but she said she will quite happily ensure I have enough meds to last until April, but they are dragging their feet in making it known!!!
Now all we need is free hospital parking.......