Stop unfair asthma prescription charges

Asthma + Lung UK is campaigning for an end to unfair prescription charges for people with asthma

Survey reveals true impact of prescription charges on people with asthma 

Asthma + Lung UK has conducted the largest ever survey carried out on prescription charges, engaging over 9,000 people. The results are staggering, revealing many people with asthma are cutting back on their medication for financial reasons with a dramatic impact on their health. In light of this evidence, Asthma + Lung UK is campaigning to stop unfair asthma prescription charges.

The key findings from the survey revealed:

  • 76% of respondents (5664 people) said that they sometimes, or always, struggled to afford their asthma prescriptions.

  • 57% of respondents (4259 people) reported skipping their asthma medication because of the cost of their prescriptions, 82% of whom said that their symptoms got worse as a result.

  • 97% of respondents (8359 people) felt that it was unfair that they were having to pay for their asthma prescriptions and supported our campaign to scrap the unfair asthma tax. 

Paying to breathe: why unfair asthma prescription charges must be stopped

The full report is available for you to download here. At the bottom of the page you can find links to the appendices.

Download the PDF

Updating the outdated prescription charges exemptions list

Two out of three deaths from asthma could be prevented if people received the right basic care. Access to medication is a vital part of this. Yet people with asthma, unlike those with some other long-term conditions, are not included on the prescription charges exemptions list, meaning they must pay for their medication.

The prescription charges exemptions list was formed over 50 years ago – long before effective treatments for asthma were widely available. This outdated policy means that people with asthma of working age and in employment have to pay for their NHS prescriptions, whilst many with other long-term conditions do not. We feel this is intrinsically unfair – essentially, people with asthma have to pay for the right to breathe.

Asthma + Lung UK is therefore calling for:

  • The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to stop prescription charges for people with asthma, so that people with asthma no longer have to pay to breathe

  • MPs to use their influence to urge the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to review the current outdated prescription charges system

  • People with asthma, clinicians and the public to join our campaign to stop unfair charges for people with asthma


Paying to breathe - Appendices