Call for prescriptions for cancer patients in Scotland to be abolished

24 March 2009


Marlyn Glen is calling upon Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to abolish prescription charges for cancer patients in Scotland to bring them into line with patients in England who, as from next week, will receive prescriptions for their treatment free of charge.

Ms. Glen said,

" The SNP promised in 2007 that on forming the Scottish Government, they would abolish prescription charges for cancer patients in Scotland ‘immediately’.

"That promise has never been kept.

"Free prescriptions is good news for thousands in patients England undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment, and Nicola Sturgeon should do exactly the same in Scotland now as she promised to do in 2007.

" As things stand, cancer patients in Scotland will continue to pay for prescriptions until 2011."

Ms. Glen revealed that Scottish Government statistics indicated that in the NHS Tayside area last year over 18,184 prescriptions ( for over 1.22 million items dispensed) to cancer patients.

She said that she would be writing as well to Ms. Sturgeon about the "SNP’s "unfulfilled promise to those in Scotland with ‘chronic health conditions’ who were also to have their prescription charges abolished ‘immediately’ two years ago."

Ms. Glen said,

" After this promise was dropped after the 2007 election, Nicola Sturgeon’s excuse was that ‘the work to extend the categories of medical conditions that qualify for exemption might have taken until 2009.’

" Today in 2009, those with chronic health conditions are still waiting for their free prescriptions from Nicola Sturgeon."

Ms. Glen said that she welcomed the reduction in the cost of prepayment certificates and supported the continuing phasing out of prescription charges generally.

She added,

"However, telling cancer patients and those with chronic health conditions that their prescription charges would be abolished ‘immediately’ two years ago and then not doing so, is an entirely different matter from phasing out prescription charges by 2011."


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