Here in the UK we are very lucky that some basic gluten free staples are available on prescription – items such as flour, bread, pasta, pizza bases, crackers and a few plain sweet biscuits.
It does cost money to get prescriptions filled – in England, but not in Wales – but in certain circumstances the charges are waived, including:
- if you are under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
- if you are 60 or over
- if you (or your partner) gets one of the following:
- Income Support.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
- if you have an NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
- some war pensioners – if treatment is connected with the pensionable disability.
- if you have a prescription exemption certificate
You can get a prescription exemption certificate if:
- you are pregnant or have had a child in the past year (ask for a form FW8 from your doctor or health visitor)
- you have one of a range of medical conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy (ask your doctor if you are exempt and ask for form FP92A)
You may also be able to get the prescription charge reduced:
- by buying a ‘season ticket’ (Prescription Prepayment Certificate) – ask your doctor or pharmacist, or visit the Prescription Pricing Authority, or call 0845 850 0030 with a credit/debit card.
- or if you have a low income. This will depend on your circumstances – ask at the social security office, or get one from a hospital or call 08701 555 455 Edited on 30 June 08 to show the new cheaper number to call: 0300 123 1002 (minicom 0300 123 1003) (NHS Responseline) and ask for one to be sent to you.
If you have to pay for prescriptions, it is definitely worth buying a season ticket, as this will significantly reduce the cost to you over the year. And of course, it will be valid for any prescription, not just gluten free food.
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…