Thank you for contacting me about extending the medical exemption list to conditions like cystic fibrosis (CF).
I fully appreciate the challenges that many people across the country are facing due to the rising cost of living, and applaud the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to provide additional financial information and support to people with cystic fibrosis across the UK.
In addition to this, you may be aware that the Government has allocated £421 million through the Household Support Fund to County and Unitary Councils to support households in the greatest need with food, energy and water costs.
At present, the Government has no immediate plans to extend the medical exemption list for conditions like cystic fibrosis (CF). I appreciate this position will be disappointing, but the Government has concluded that it would not be right to look at one condition in isolation.
My understanding is that approximately 89 per cent of prescriptions are already dispensed free of charge, with entitlement based on the principle those who are likely to have the greatest difficulty in paying should be protected.
I recognise that prescription charges provide an additional cost on top of other expenses, and want to provide assurance that if you are not able to receive an exemption on medical grounds, arrangements are in place to assist with the affordability of NHS prescriptions. This includes exemptions for which people with life-long chronic conditions may already qualify.
The cost of prescriptions can also be capped by purchasing a prescription pre-payment certificate, which can be paid for in instalments. I understand this scheme allows the holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.
Thank you once again for contacting me.