As society changes and technology deepens our understanding of the natural world, some curious anachronisms have emerged in our current prescription charge system. Unchanged since 1968, it is in need of reform.
A broad political consensus exists that it is unfair as some long-term conditions qualify people for free prescriptions – like diabetes, for example – whilst others don’t – like schizophrenia.
Of all of the constituents I have met in the past decade few have made such an impression as Andrew Scarborough. Andrew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at the age of 27. While his tumour was impossible to fully remove Andrew is managing his condition and will hopefully be taking part in a promising ketogenic clinical trial being run at Charing Cross Hospital later this year.
Andrew’s story is inspirational but his illness is not unique. Brain tumours are far more common than one might imagine. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer – 5,000 a year in total. In spite of this brain cancer research receives far less funding than some of the more well-known cancers. Just one percent of the total amount spent on cancer research in the UK is allocated to this devastating disease.