Disabled people are being disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis. Research has already shown that those living with a disability or with someone who does are already struggling with the rising cost of energy, food and bills. But now, worryingly, some are having to make an awful decision when it comes to their health.
On Monday the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) released the results of a survey showing that the cost of living is having an impact on whether people with long-term conditions can afford prescription medicines in England.
One in two pharmacists said that in the last six months, they’ve seen an increase in patients asking them which medicines on their prescription they can “do without” due to the cost.
One in two pharmacists had also seen a rise in people not collecting their prescription, while two out of three pharmacists said they had experienced an increase in being asked if there was a cheaper, over-the-counter substitute for the medicine they had prescribed.
In January, HealthWatch reported from their survey that 10 per cent of people have avoided taking up one or more NHS prescriptions because of the cost, up from 6 per cent in October. Another 10 per cent avoided buying over-the-counter medication they normally rely on, up from 7 per cent.
In England, it currently costs £9.35 per prescribed medication, with a rise expected to happen in April, as it often does. For someone with long-term health conditions like me, a monthly supply of medication can be upwards of £50. Prescriptions are free for all people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.