Call for changes to prescription charges

A High Peak councillor is calling on the Government to make prescriptions for people with long-term illnesses free.

Lance Dowson, a New Mills town councillor and High Peak borough councillor, has written to High Peak MP Andrew Bingham asking for his support to phase out prescription charges for people with long-term medical conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.

He said: “I am very aware that the Government is struggling to cut costs and save money however I truly believe that the current system of making people with long-term illnesses pay for their prescriptions is, in the long term, costing the Government more than it saves.

“The Prescription Charges Coalition has just published a report which makes the case for reform to the current system.

“It uncovers the shocking decisions people with conditions like asthma, heart disease, arthritis, HIV, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Parkinson’s, mental health conditions, cystic fibrosis, auto-immune disease and many others are being forced to make because of the added financial burdens associated with prescription charges.

“It is wrong that people are forced to choose between food, clothing, bills or their prescriptions.”

Prescription charges are set to increase to £7.85 from Monday.