Include Sickle Cell Anemia in the List of Illnesses Eligible for a MedEx Card

I am calling for Parliament to include Sickle Cell Anemia as a listed illness eligible for a Medical Exemption Card.

This petition closed on 11 Feb 2021 with 30,361 signatures


This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Include Sickle Cell Anemia in the List of Illnesses Eligible for a MedEx Card

1. Jamaica: country policy and information notes
04/03/2020 - UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
- View source

Found: Country Policy and Information Note Jamaica : Medical and healthcare issues Version 1.0 March

2. Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why
23/09/2019 - Public Health England (PHE)
- View source

Found: available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely viruses that will cause ˜u are

3. Guidelines for newborn blood spot sampling 2015
19/04/2018 - Public Health England (PHE)
- View source

Found: a number of rare but serious conditions: sickle cell disease (SCD) , cystic fibrosis (CF), congenital

4. Nigeria: country policy and information notes
09/09/2019 - UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
- View source

Found: cited and consulted in compiling the note are listed alphabetically in the bibliography .

5. Ms Yewande Okuleye - written evidence
12/03/2019 - Inquiry: Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis - Health and Social Care Committee
- View source

Found: between cannabis drug and cannabis medicine.[2] The medical community (clinicians, GP’s nurses) and allied

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Include Sickle Cell Anemia in the List of Illnesses Eligible for a MedEx Card

1. Gene Editing
30/01/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: scientific institutions to extend the debate beyond the medical and scientific fields, where, until recently, any - Speech Link
2: course of their illness? Yet our genes and neurons are more than origins of our illness; they are also - Speech Link

2. Welfare (Terminal Illness)
22/07/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: the failures of the special rules for terminal illness, which do not fast-track some terminally ill people - Speech Link

3. BAME Blood, Stem Cell and Organ Donation
27/06/2018 - Westminster Hall

1: That this House has considered BAME blood, stem cell and organ donation.It is a pleasure to serve - Speech Link
2: chair of the all-party parliamentary group on stem cell transplantation. My hon. Friend makes a point that - Speech Link
3: ethnic backgrounds make up just 15% of the stem cell register, but campaigns such as Cure Kaiya, which - Speech Link
4: or one of our loved ones might be a name on that list in need of a match, desperately waiting for a lifesaving - Speech Link
5: on BAME stem cell and organ donation.The problem of insufficient blood, stem cell and organ donation - Speech Link

4. Gene Editing: Agriculture and Medicine
27/03/2017 - Lords Chamber

1: this technology because the use of gene editing in cell therapy for cancer and in producing better crop - Speech Link
2: of non-reproductive cells for treating HIV, sickle cell, haemophilia and, as the noble Viscount said - Speech Link
3: issues that lead to some of the diseases and illnesses she has described. Within our regulatory framework - Speech Link
4: discussed, there is huge potential regarding illnesses such as HIV. Clinical trials of gene therapies - Speech Link

5. NHS Long-Term Plan: Implementation
01/07/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: that we all know are needed. Those improvements include services for adults living with serious mental - Speech Link
2: Paper. In particular, there are some diseases and illnesses, such as stroke, where apparently four out of - Speech Link
3: clinical standards? That is not a criticism of the medical professions; it is just a determination to make - Speech Link
4: all-party parliamentary group on sickle cell and thalassaemia. Sickle cell is very much a hidden disability - Speech Link
5: crew, we attended a patient who suffered from sickle cell, and it was horrific to see the degree of pain - Speech Link
6: to hear my right hon. Friend mentioning the new medical schools. The one in Chelmsford is fantastic. It - Speech Link

6. Health Inequalities
04/03/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: rates from suicide, drug abuse and alcohol-related illness—are a phenomenon we have seen for many years in - Speech Link
2: to shift the focus from treating illnesses to preventing illnesses and driving healthy lives. The NHS - Speech Link
3: decisions here; it is not the role of the Scottish Parliament just to mitigate.Public health in England - Speech Link
4: is not decided anywhere else, and the Scottish Parliament, as we have heard, spends a lot of energy on - Speech Link
5: rising. That may well be because there are greater medical comorbidities in that particular group, and the - Speech Link

7. Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
08/02/2021 - Grand Committee

1: the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 to the list of Acts governing permitted marriages, civil partnerships - Speech Link
2: nurses, and self-employed people who have not been eligible for any government support? Finally, on care homes - Speech Link
3: thousands of people with all other life-threatening illnesses—cancer, heart conditions and so on—have had their - Speech Link
4: Test and Trace data to reassure the public of medical confidentiality? I remember discussing the concerns - Speech Link
5: which, as the Minister stated, include a reference to an exemption for elite athletes who train or enter - Speech Link

8. Organ Donation: Opt-out System
13/07/2017 - Westminster Hall

1: supporters, which failed due to the prorogation of Parliament and the general election. Luckily, I have position - Speech Link
2: matter can be further debated constructively in Parliament. I am very grateful to him for taking that decision - Speech Link
3: increased the capacity, training and availability of medical staff to talk to families about donating the organs - Speech Link
4: 192 patients were on the organ donation waiting list. There was a great deal of concern in Wales, and - Speech Link
5: that I would.I carry a wee organ donation card, although it does not make any difference. It is - Speech Link

9. Terminally Ill People: Access to Benefits
22/02/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: my ten-minute rule Bill, the Welfare (Terminal Illness) Bill, last summer. I also thank individual campaigners - Speech Link

10. NHS Specialised Services
15/01/2015 - Westminster Hall

1: of the total NHS budget. Specialised services include some of the most advanced technologies and procedures - Speech Link
2: commissioners, only 15% would be happy to see that include pooling of budgets with CCGs.I am grateful - Speech Link
3: with his comments? Many people with lifetime illnesses and conditions are being subjected to paying prescription - Speech Link
4: wish list, rather than a requirement. We are clear: it should be a requirement, not a wish list. Will - Speech Link
5: I will raise two issues. The first is sickle cell disease, an issue raised with me by two constituents - Speech Link
6: different. We all have experiences with mainstream medical services where the postcode lottery kicks in; I - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Include Sickle Cell Anemia in the List of Illnesses Eligible for a MedEx Card
1. Sickle Cell Diseases: Prescriptions
asked by: Janet Daby
07/12/2018
... if he will make it his policy to include sickle cell anaemia on the list of conditions for which medical exemption certificates for NHS prescriptions can be obtained.

2. Sickle Cell Diseases: Prescriptions
asked by: Matthew Pennycook
12/04/2019
... what assessment he has made of the effect on BAME patients of his policy not to include sickle cell anaemia in the list of conditions for which a medical exemption certificate can be obtained.

3. Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
asked by: Jonathan Ashworth
21/12/2017
... when the last impact assessment was undertaken of the prescription charge medical exemption list; if he will publish that impact assessment; and whether that impact assessment makes reference to the disproportionate effect on certain groups of Sickle Cell or Lupus.

4. Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
asked by: Jim Cunningham
01/11/2018
... what recent discussions he has had with NHS England on the list of medical conditions that entitle people to medical exemption certificates; and whether he plans to include additional medical conditions on that list.

5. Mental Illness: Prescription Drugs
asked by: Diana Johnson
13/12/2018
... if his Department will undertake a review of the categories of conditions eligible for medical exemption certificates for NHS prescriptions to ensure that there is provision for mental health conditions.

Latest Questions

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There are 15,000 in the UK that suffer from a disease called sickle cell. The majority of whom are of Afro-Caribbean decent. Although multiple medications for this illness are required daily, sickle cell sufferers have to pay for their prescriptions. This is medical racial injustice! No one should have to pay to stay alive, no one should have to pay for necessary medication.


Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

15,391 signatures - 51.0% of total

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Government Response

While we have no plans to make changes to the list of medical conditions exempting patients from prescription charges, someone with this debilitating illness may qualify under another exemption.


The Government is very sorry to learn about anyone who has been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia. We recognise the immense challenges faced by those who have this lifelong condition and their long-term needs for prescription medication to manage and treat their symptoms.

Although not everyone qualifies for free NHS prescriptions, and we can appreciate that this raises some very strong feelings, a broad range of NHS prescription charge exemptions are in place in England to help those with greatest need to ensure that prescriptions are affordable for everyone. Eligibility for these exemptions depends on the person’s age, whether they are in receipt of a war pension or certain benefits or tax credits, whether they are pregnant or have recently given birth, whether they are in qualifying full-time education, or have a qualifying medical condition. There are no plans to make changes to this list of medical conditions. Partners and dependents of the person receiving certain benefits are entitled to free prescriptions too. The current exemptions mean that around 89 percent of NHS prescription items dispensed in the community are provided free of charge.

People, who may not be exempt but who are on a low income, can seek help under the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS). This Scheme provides help with health costs on an income-related basis. The level of help available is based on a comparison between someone’s income and requirements at the time a claim is received, or at the time a charge was paid, if a refund is claimed. Further information on the NHS LIS, including how someone can apply, is available on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website at:
https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme

For people who have to pay NHS prescription charges and need many prescription items, they can save money with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). A three-monthly PPC costs £29.65 and an annual PPC costs £105.90. The annual PPC will save people money if they need more than 11 items in a year. For example, if someone needs 2 items per month, they will save £113.70 with an annual PPC, if 3 items are needed per month the saving is £223.50 with the annual PPC. To help spread the cost, people can pay for an annual PPC by ten monthly direct debits. PPCs can be obtained by calling 0300 330 1341 (local rates), online through the NHSBSA’s website at https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-prescription-costs/prescription-prepayment-certificates-ppcs , or buying one from a registered pharmacist (listed on the NHSBSA website).

Department of Health and Social Care