Has anyone with severe ME/CFS obtained exemption from NHS prescription charges for inability to go out without help? | 4 January 2015

As people are probably aware, ME/CFS is not on the list of specific medical conditions that entitle people to free NHS prescriptions.

However, one of our members has asked if anyone with severe ME/CFS has managed to obtain an exemption from NHS prescription charges on the basis of the following exemption clause:

* a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without the help of another person

My interpretation of this wording is that it should apply to someone with ME/CFS who is housebound, wheelchair-bound, or requires some form of help when outside the home

You can reply here or via ME Connect.

Full list of NHS prescription charge exemptions:

People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if they hold a valid medical exemption certificate.
You can get all your NHS prescriptions free if you have a valid medical exemption certificate because you have:

** a permanent fistula (for example, caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) which needs continuous surgical dressing or an appliance;
** a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s Disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential;
** diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism;
** diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone;
** hypoparathyroidism;
** myasthenia gravis;
** myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism which needs thyroid hormone replacement);
** epilepsy which needs continuous anticonvulsive therapy;
** a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without the help of another person; or cancer and are undergoing treatment for:
– cancer;
– the effects of cancer; or,
– the effects of cancer treatment.

You can only get a certificate if you have a condition on the list. If you are not sure about the name of your condition, check with your doctor. Doctors may advise you about free prescriptions. However, it is up to you to find out if you are entitled to an exemption certificate.

For official advice about how to make a claim, visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/2095.aspx


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