CANCER patients are now eligible for free prescriptions.
The Government abolished NHS prescription charges for everyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment from April 1.
Up to 150,000 patients already diagnosed with cancer are expected to benefit and could save £100 each year in prescription charges.
All cancer patients are entitled to apply for a five-year exemption certificate, which will entitle them to all their NHS prescriptions free of charge, not just those relating to cancer.
The certificate can be renewed as many times as necessary and will not have to be returned if the patient’s condition changes.
Application forms can be collected from GP surgeries and oncology clinics and must be countersigned by the patient’s GP, hospital doctor or service doctor.
Public Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo said: “This new scheme gives people living with cancer one less worry at such a difficult time.”
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Cancer not only threatens your life, but can also make you poor.
“Free prescriptions will transform the lives of thousands of people living with cancer who were struggling to pay for drugs.”
The scheme will later be extended to include all patients with long-term conditions.
This will take around five million patients, all with high ongoing prescription costs, out of charges.