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Chronically Sick

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department’s review of prescription charges for long-term conditions will take into account the socio-economic profile of the patient group affected by individual conditions; (253728)

(2) whether his Department’s review of prescription charges for long-term conditions will take into account the views of patients with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (Professor Ian Gilmore) is carrying out the review of prescription charges that is considering how to implement the commitment to exempt patients with long-term conditions from prescription charges. The review is due to make its recommendations to departmental Ministers in summer 2009.

The review is engaging widely with stakeholders to seek the views of patients, the public, patient representative bodies, clinicians and healthcare organisations and to take account of the specific circumstances of patients with long-term conditions. It will do this via written consultation; web based consultation, oral evidence sessions; deliberative research with patients and the public and with general practitioners; stakeholder workshops, literature review and data analysis. The Government will carry out an Equality Impact Assessment of any policy proposals that emerge from the review prior to implementation.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on sickle cell and thalassaemia has been in contact with the review and the Sickle Cell Society has been invited to provide written evidence to the review.