Cancer patients lack money for drugs13th August 2008
Many cancer patients are having to cut back on food and heating bills in order to be able to pay for their prescriptions, according to a leading charity.
Macmillan Cancer suggested that up to two-thirds of cancer patients are also missing out on leisure activities because they need the money to pay for medication.
The findings come from an online poll of 477 cancer patients conducted by the charity.
It found that many were struggling with the costs of treatment and it has now called for prescription charges in England to be abolished after Wales made the move last year, with Scotland scheduled to do so by 2011, though the government has so far said it has no plans for such a move in England.
In its poll, Macmillan poll found 44% of patients had cut back on essential items to pay for medication and that they have to spend hundreds of pounds each year paying for prescriptions.
Macmillan Cancer support chief executive Ciarán Devane said: "People must never be forced to choose between food or medication. The government must act now.
"Patients should be allowed to focus on getting better instead of worrying how they're going to find money for prescriptions."
Schemes are available for people who pay for prescriptions to buy a three-month or 12-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), which allows them to get all the prescription items they need for less than £2 a week, but the charity says many patients are not aware of this option.
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Title: Cancer patients lack money for drugs
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 7864
Date Added: 13th Aug 2008