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free prescriptions

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by geoffreybaker, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. geoffreybaker

    geoffreybaker · Newbie

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    hi , i am newley diagnosised with type 2
    and wonderd if anyone could tell me when you are allowed to get free perscriptions for your test strips and lancets.
    i asked for a blood monitor from my doctors and they gave me a freestyle monitor.
    but have just paid out for 3 perscriptions 1 for lancets 1 for test strips 1 for simvastatin tablets .
    simvastatin is for cholesterol.
    im just not sure if im allowed free perscriptions for my blood meter or not
    can anyone help please.
    when speaking to my pharmacy they said dont you get these free (totally lost}
    many thanks geoff
     
  2. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Hi Geoff, and welcome. Daisy1 will be along shortly with the "Information for the Newly Diagnosed" - if you haven't had it already.

    I can't give you a definite answer because I was at the age for free prescriptions when I was diagnosed. One or two points though: -

    Your chemist may have thought you were Type 1 because so few Type 2s get testing equipment these days; Type 1s do get them free;

    I know that diabetics get free prescriptions once they are on diabetic medication - which does not include statins. You could ask at you GP surgery if testing strips qualify?

    Just getting the strips on prescription is a bonus - if you had to buy them they cost around £25 for 50. Once you've done a bit of testing you'll learn which foods affect you badly, and not need to test so much.

    Viv 8)

    PS You don't need to change the lancet every time you test, as long s it's only you using the meter. I'm still on the first box I got in December 2010 :shock: I change mine when they hurt to much :lol:
     
  3. twinkle1980

    twinkle1980 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    I'm sure someone with the necessary knowledge will be along shortly. However I am pretty certain that in order to qualify for free prescriptions you must be taking medication to control your diabetes (so insulin, metformin etc). Diabetics who control their condition by diet alone do not qualify for exemption.

    If you think you qualify ask your gp to fill out an exemption form for you.

    Of course there are other reasons you may qualify for free prescriptions... Such as being in receipt of certain benefits or being over 60.

    If you don't qualify and your needing regular scripts, I would look seriously into the pre-payment certificates, this could save you a fortune in the long run.

    Hope that helps x
     
  4. twinkle1980

    twinkle1980 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Lol viv beat me to it
     
  5. geoffreybaker

    geoffreybaker · Newbie

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    Re: free perscriptions

    many thanks for your help and funny enough just sorted the pre pay last night
     
  6. geoffreybaker

    geoffreybaker · Newbie

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    Re: free perscriptions

    thanks viv and twinkle your both stars
     
  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Hi Geoff and welcome to the forum :)

    As Viv mentioned in her post, here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it helpful. Ask all the questions you need to and someone will be able to help you.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you’ll find well over 30,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.
    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:

    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes ... rains.html

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips
    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
     
  8. calluna

    calluna · Member

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    using lancets more than once

    I do not agree with using lancets more than once. This could lead to infection. Once used they are no longer sterile

    Dave
     
  9. scottish-jim

    scottish-jim Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    You can get free prescriptions by getting a medical exeption form signed by your doctor. I got my form from my local P.A.L.S - got my GP to stamp and sign - posted it off and hey presto free prescriptions.
     
  10. julie42

    julie42 · Active Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    I was diagnosed early December and put on metformin. When I went to collect the pills my local chemist said I should have completed a medical exempt form so I went back to the surgery. My GP refused test strips but I managed to convince the diabetic nurse and I can have 30 a month, we will see how long before they stop it. I bought the meter from boots and a pack of strips. Check with your chemist as you might be able to claim the cost of the tablets back if you complete the form at the date of the tablets not the day you complete, please double check this can be backdated.
     
  11. Finzi

    Finzi · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Basically you can get free prescriptions if you have diabetes that is not controlled by diet alone, so if you are on Metformin, or more, then you are exempt. A statin wouldn't count. The doctor has to fill in a form that you send off. Anyone getting more than two items per month is better off with a pre payment certificate.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  12. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: using lancets more than once

    Each to his own, Dave - I'm prepared to take the risk. :D I doubt if my lancets are sterile at all - they don't come in a sealed pack or anything like that - and I always wash my hands before testing.

    I would think I've averaged 2 tests a day since November 2010, and I've never had so much as a sore place on any of the 6 fingers I use. Of course I always change the lancet if I'm going to test anyone else, and put in a fresh one again immediately after.

    Viv 8)
     
  13. amandajane

    amandajane · Active Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    .... and don't forget that we are entitled to a VAT exemption on anything we need for testing our diabetes. Mind you it took a bit of a battle at Boots in my local town for them to accept what I was telling them about this. I printed a form off the internet and they took the VAT off my accu check cassette. I have contacted the makers of accu check and told them they should put this information on their leaflets etc.
     
  14. Osidge

    Osidge Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    Re: free perscriptions

    Hi all

    Just to make sure that everyone is clear. You are entitled to free prescriptions only if you have a medical exemption certificate and not just because you have treated diabetes or another condition. The part of the prescription you cross confirms that you actually have the certificate. As previously said, your GP/consultant should sign and stamp the certificate that goes off to Newcastle.

    Regards

    Doug
     
  15. jollyrambler

    jollyrambler · Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Hi Geoff if you get a form from your gp,they will fill it in saying you area diabetic & then you send it off to the address on the form & then you should get a exemption certificate to show your pharmacy that you are exempt from prescription charges. You will be exempt for all your medications when you get the certificate. I have to renew my certificate every so often. In the meantime keep your receipt for the prepayment as you may be able to claim that back. I hope this is some help. John
     
  16. ))Denise((

    ))Denise(( Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    The prescription exemption card lasts for five years. Just before it is due to expire, you are sent a form to confirm that your circumstances are still the same. Send this off and the card comes by return of post.

    The pharmacist told me that I would have to go back to the GP to get it renewed - this was completely wrong.
     
  17. carosam

    carosam Type 2 · Newbie

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    Re: free perscriptions

    HI,
    I'm type 2 and have to pay for all my medication but I use the pre pay system which only costs me £10 something per mth. I had to buy my blood monitor metre and got a new one cheap on ebay and managed to talk my doctor into prescribing test strips for it as long as I don't use them too often. I will only test if I feel my sugars levels have gone up or I've eaten something I shouldn't and want to see what effect it has had on me.
    Hope this helps.
     
  18. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Not directly related to diabetes, but if you're on a low income you can get a form called an HC2, which gives help with health care costs such as the dentist, the optician and free prescriptions.

    It includes a voucher towards the cost of glasses and contact lenses, free NHS wigs and fabric supports, and the refund of necessary costs of travel to receive NHS treatment.

    You can get the application form (HC1) from the surgery or the dentist or optician. Or by visiting

    http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/healthcosts

    Viv 8)
     
  19. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: free perscriptions

    Lots of answers but still it seems some confusion over prescription charges exemption.

    If you are diabetic and live in England you are untitled to exemption from all prescription charges (MEDEX certificate) but ONLY if you are prescribed medication to treat your diabetes. Statins do not treat diabetes so do not count as diabetic medication.
    Full information on Medical Exemption Certificates (MEDEX) here ~ http://www.patient.co.uk/health/free-or ... scriptions

    Certain other groups of people are also entitled to a MEDEX certificates too. Other rules apply to residents of Scotland and Wales I believe, but if you live there you will no doubt know.

    Hope this clears up any confusion.
     
  20. amazinmo

    amazinmo Type 2 · Member

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    in northern ireland we get ALL our prescriptions FREE, diabertic or not!!! :D :)
     
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