Free our medication
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I have recently moved to London from South Wales, to study a BSc degree in Sociology and Human rights. Having recently left the Welsh health board (as I am now under England's health board), I honestly can not believe that when living in England you have to pay for your medical prescriptions. As someone who has never paid for a prescription (as you do not have to in Wales), I bit my tongue, sort of furious, and paid the £8.80 for my antidepressants.
About two months later, where I am at now, I realised when going through my cupboard that I have no more contraceptive pills left. The contraceptive pill 'cilest' has been a companion for almost 2 years, having extremely easy access to it in Wales. As you would, I rung the doctors up and asked for a prescription for it, as it hadn't yet been administered to me by the GP in London. I was told that I could pop in to see the doctor and he would then make sure everything was okay and give it to me. That was great. I was then told that my contraception and my antidepressants COULD NOT be put in the same prescription as I would have to pay the £8.80 for each medication that I was taking. I was, and am furious. As a woman, I feel so attacked, that I should be forced to pay for something that is keeping me healthy?! Obviously, the contraceptive is used to prevent me from any unwanted pregnancies, but it also stabilises and controls my PMS symptoms; my antidepressants then help me to control my mood. I need both of these medications in order to live a normal life. I am a student and already find it disgusting at the amount of inequality that women experience financially, but having to pay for a contraception so you can have sex, and control periods - which is a basic human function - it is unreal. I was told over the phone that I can apply for 'financial help' if I can't afford my prescription, but I shouldn't have to receive financial help in order to live a healthy life. It got me thinking that for some people who can not afford prescriptions how do they manage? My mum lives in Wales but suffers terribly from Crohn's disease, a condition that affects your bowel. My mum is constantly back and for from the pharmacy, continuously having to get the medication that she needs in order to live. Having Crohn's means taking a wide range of different medications each day; without the necessary tablets, my mum would be ridiculously ill. The thought of her having to pay near enough £10 if she lived in England PER ITEM is barbaric. Now, for some people, they could afford that each time they need a prescription or some medication, however for most, the idea of paying that is something that would cause them a lot of stress. As I mentioned earlier, I know there is financial help, I am aware, but it's means tested and we all know how unfair that can actually be. I am also aware that you can pay £29.10 if you need more than three prescribed items in three months, but ;single parents, people earning enough who are extremely ill, people who need medication non-stop, and people who occasionally need a lot of different types of medication, how could they afford it? How the Government can charge £8.80 per item or £29.10 for three is ridiculous, THE GOVERNMENT IS LITERALLY MAKING MONEY FROM PEOPLE THAT ARE ILL.
I am therefore setting this petition up in order to have the Government to review this situation and either dispose of a prescription charge or make it dramatically less.
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