The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has called for all prescription charges in England to be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making the case, Chair of the RPS in England Claire Anderson said: “During this time of crisis it’s vital for everyone to be taking the medication they need to stay well.
“We urge the government to implement this simple measure to help lift the financial burden carried by patients with long term health conditions.”
The RPS has signed a letter to Lord Bethell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, as part of the Prescription Charges Coalition – a group of 48 charities and organisations campaigning to end prescription charges for people with long-term conditions.
It has has also raised the issue directly in weekly meetings with the Pharmacy Minister, Jo Churchill.
Arguing that around one in three people with long-term conditions skipped medicine because of cost, Anderson said: “Too many are forced to make impossible choices between buying their medicines, heating their homes or getting the food that they need. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the financial hardships of many even further.
“There should be no financial barrier between a patient and the medicines they need. We hope to see an emergency waiver on prescription charges as soon as possible and are discussing this with the Government on a weekly basis.”
Meanwhile, the statement comes when pharmacy negotiator, PSNC, has been holding talks with the government on waiving the requirement for prescriptions to be signed by a patient during the coronavirus crisis.