NHS scraps repeat prescription levy

Mark Fowler with his diabetic medicine.
Mark Fowler with his diabetic medicine.

A diabetic who hit out at penalty charges over free prescriptions has welcomed the news that have been scrapped.

Warsop man Mark Fowler was furious after he was told he needed to pay a £132 fine because it was claimed he failed to renew his exemption certificate, despite never being asked to.

The 42-year-old had picked up free insulin without problem for more than 30 years for his type-one diabetes.

He was left shocked by the charge, which even his diabetes specialist nurse had no knowledge about.

Mr Fowler refused to pay and after contacting Diabetes UK, they said thousands of others had been slapped with the fine.

Since then, Diabetes UK have received confirmation that the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) were cancelling the charge and refusing anyone who had paid.

Mr Fowler, who said also said he was met with ‘a lack of understanding and care’ when he tried contacting the NHS BSA, was relieved at the latest decision.

He said: “I think it could have been handled much better than I was, a little compassion with peoples situation wouldn’t have gone amiss!”

But while the NHS BSA have scrapped the charge, they insist that a medical exemption certificate is still required for those between the age of 18 and 60.

Anyone who thinks they need one should go to their GP surgery and ask for an FP92A form. If someone has paid the fine and not yet had a refund, they are being asked to get in contact with Diabetes UK.

The charity sent out a message to supporters, saying: “Even by just writing to us about your experiences you gave us a real insight to the problems people with diabetes were facing.

“The amount of people who wrote to their MP, or complained to the NHS BSA put them in a position where they couldn’t ignore us anymore.”