Many Cancer Patients Still Pay for Prescriptions

by Rajashri on Aug 31 2009 9:32 PM

A survey by leading cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Care has found that just one in three of 150,000 patients are receiving free cancer medicines and that most of them are still having to pay for prescriptions despite promises by Prime Minister Gordon Brown that these medicines would be made available for free.

The survey showed that one in three cancer patients shelled out a cost of £7.20 for each prescription. The charity also said that many GPs were not aware of the new rules.

“More than four months after the introduction of free prescriptions, it’s worrying that the overwhelming majority of cancer patients are still scrimping and saving to pay for their medication," said Mike Hobday, from Macmillan Cancer Support. “We urge GPs and pharmacists to check people collecting medication for cancer are aware of their entitlement and call on the government to do more to ensure the guidance on exemption is clear.”

However the Department of Health claimed that the figures quoted by the charity were out of date and that just 60,000 people were still paying for prescriptions.