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Prescription charges are forcing people with lung conditions into poverty, warns charity

Monday 16th May 2022

Responding to the news that the government will freeze prescription charges, Harriet Edwards, Head of Policy and External Affairs at Asthma + Lung UK, said:

“While it’s encouraging that the government has frozen the increase in prescription charges in England because of the rising cost of living, people with long-term lung conditions should not have to pay for their vital medication in the first place. Asthma + Lung UK’s helpline has seen a 45% surge in calls and enquiries from people with lung conditions* calling for benefits or financial advice in the last couple of months, and we’re deeply concerned that the cost of living crisis will push people with asthma and other conditions below the poverty line and even make their health worse because they are unable to afford essential medications. As part of the Prescription Charges Coalition, we are calling on the government to scrap prescription charges for people with long-term conditions including asthma, as they force too many unwell people to choose between their health and essentials like food and heating.”

* Between 1st – 31st Jan 2022, Asthma + Lung UK received 51 calls on its helpline from people needing support about benefits and finances. This rose to 74 between the 1st – 28th February – a 45% increase