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medical exemption certificate fine

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by ladyAAA, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. ladyAAA

    ladyAAA · Member

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    when I first picked up my diabetes medication, the pharmacist told me that I didn't need to pay prescription charges (although i was quite willing to) and just needed to tick the 'medical exemption certificate' box on the prescription. I have been doing this for 7 years. I never realised that I actually needed to apply for the certificate and the pharmacist has never asked to see it. Today i received a fine of £126 through the post for falsely claiming free prescriptions.
    Has this happened to anyone else? I have 10 days to pay before it increases so I feel I have no option to pay. I know ignorance of the law is no defence but I do feel the authorities should do more to make people aware of this law i.e. tell pharmacists to always ask to see the certificate or ask GPs to remind their patients they need one.
    This is my first time on this forum. I feel quite upset at receiving this fine and wanted to make other people aware. :(
     
  2. sallylondon

    sallylondon · Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear of the fine LadyAAA. I think that you make a very good point about the lack of awareness about these exemption certificates. I feel the form should be given to us as soon as the first prescription is issued.

    When I was first diagnosed no-one told me I could get an exemption certificate so I bought the yearly card which cost around £100 at the time. After 1 month my pharmacist told me about the exemption certificate so my £100 was money down the drain. :thumbdown:

    I wonder what your pharmacist thinks about this? Could he support you in some way?
     
  3. Grazer

    Grazer · Well-Known Member

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    Can you pay to avoid the increase, but appeal at the same time? Try ringing them? You MIGHT be able to get through to someone sensible after about 30 "you now have 4 options"
     
  4. abs

    abs Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I would pay the fine and then see if you can claim it back. If you ask your doctor they will have the form you need to get the exception.

    Can't believe that the pharmacist didn't tell you that you needed to fill in a form makes me appreciate the pharmacists I have worked with. Normally when someone ticks the box we ask to see their exception card so thats def a badly run pharmacy.
     
  5. BioHaZarD

    BioHaZarD Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My Pharmacy (so American) my Chemist never asks to see mine. I assume as its Diabetic things on the prescription they think you have one. I was however given the form as soon as I was diagnosed, left the Docs office and he told me to ask the receptionist. they gave me a signed piece of paper whilst I waited for the actual card.
     
  6. ladyAAA

    ladyAAA · Member

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    Thanks for your replies everyone. I have reread the letter and I have 4 weeks to pay or 10 days to appeal, so I have written a letter appealing and basically saying that their time would be better spent chasing people who claim for things that they are not entitled to, rather than people who are entitled to free prescriptions but don't have a piece of paper to prove it ( because they didn't know they needed it). I don't expect to get very far but it is worth a try!
     
  7. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Is there anywhere on the fine notice telling you how to query it?
    If so ask them why you would be taking your particular medication if you were not legally exempt from charges. Though I'd say to contact DUK immediately and ask for advice. They will have experienced this situation before, I'm sure.
    Hana
     
  8. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to war about your fine. My doctor had never told me about it either; I found out from the pharmacist who made me pay the standard charge for my items (not cheap when you're getting eight boxes of insulin, six boxes of test strips and a box of needles!).

    Hopefully the appeal will work. If not I think that, unfortunately, you're going to have to pay it. It does clearly say on the prescription slip that you need to haw an exemption CERTIFICATE, so they could argue that you knew you didn't have this. Not saying it's right, but, if I were you, I woulbt bank on ring able to get that money back from your doctor or pharmacist. As I said, fingers crossed the appeal process works.

    Keep us updated and good luck!
     
  9. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Surely the pharmacy is as much at fault here for not checking you have the card before issuing you with the items?
    My pharmacy is at my Doctors surgery (rural area) and although the label on my prescription bag has something printed on it along the lines of 'fee exempt' they usually check my card.
    I did forget it one day and they just said "not to worry I can see from what you are collecting you are exempt".

    Good luck
    Angie
     
  10. anna29

    anna29 Type 2 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi ladyAAA.
    Could your GP help you out with this? or your DSN ?
    You werent 'made' aware of the need to apply for the medical excemption certificate.
    So it's NOT your fault...
    Ideally either of them could have suggested this was the case to you. Shame they didnt!
    Despite your awful experience it is very kind of you to alert us all here on diabetes uk
    to this.
    Please keep us updated as to how things for you.
    Anna.
     
  11. ladyAAA

    ladyAAA · Member

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    Update: I received a response to my letter saying that if I could fill in the application form for the exemption certificate, get my doctor to sign it and send them a copy they would accept this as proof of my entitlement and waive the fine, even though I didn't have the certificate when i actually received the medication . I think this is very fair so I am glad that I queried it. Anyone who finds themselves in the asme situation should do the same.
     
  12. softgirl123

    softgirl123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    hi just read your article about fine.it happened to me last week .i had a medical excemption certificate in 03.out of the blue i got a fine and charge.i am refusing to pay.as i didnt get a renewal form.i phoned up giving my number.on my letter .i was told they run out after 5 years.i was realy worried as i should of renewed in 2008.i am entitled to it.as i was givem one for my tyroid condition..its disgusting as though i am a criminal..if known i would of renewed.noone had said anything in all these years.i sigmed thebox as i genuly thought i had one..to pay is admitting to being a fraudster which i am not.i am very upset.and it is wrong to be made to feel like one.when i have not received a renewal form..i was advised not topay by a person it happened too and chemist said dont pay.it worked for that person.he refused to pay and nothing was done to him.so i think we should stick together and do the same.
     
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