Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

The thin end of a very ugly wedge – an insidious threat to NHS services

by Owen Temple on 21 June, 2018

Today I got a letter from my doctor’s surgery explaining why they were stopping a prescription I receive in response to recent NHS guidelines. You can find these guidelines here .

The guidance is for those medical conditions which the powers that be say will cure themselves, or you can easily treat yourself for.

My surgery was certainly quick of the mark! It’s just a month since the guidance was issued, and to date I’ve heard no local discussion of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I and many others can afford to pay for our own hay-fever treatment, and often do, and for some other treatments, but there are plenty of people for whom the list price of £21.27 per month at Boots for what I used to have prescribed would be a hefty chunk out out of their benefits, and they are less likely than I am to be able to take advantage of internet prices which can more than halve that amount.

I’ve referred this to the Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee of the County Council because I want to know what protections the clinical commissioning groups are putting in place for the most vulnerable in our society. I’ve specifically asked:

  • Will they make available cheap generic products for people so they can avoid the inflated prices charged for heavily advertised branded medicines?
  • Will they continue to prescribe for people on benefits? The guidance only says they should not “routinely prescribe” for the specified conditions.

Watch this space to see whether this gets to committee, and if it does, how those who are in charge of health care say they will protect those least able to pay for self-medication.


   1 Comment

One Response

  1. keith devanney says:

    The health and social care act was passed in 2012 and was the formal ending of the NHS.
    NHS trusts were abolished yet even medical staff still refer to the former trust as their current employer.
    Big pharma only make money when your’e ill and they make billions from you being ill.

    We need an adult conversation about what’s left and what’s going to happen in the very short term….but what do we get instead? let’s throw more money at the NHS. It’s not the answer

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