In Nursing Standard yesterday this horrific news:
Asthma patients are putting their lives at risk by skipping medication due to the cost, nurses have reported. The trend, revealed in an Asthma UK survey of 636 nurses in England, has prompted the RCN to call for prescription costs for asthma medication to be scrapped, as they have been for diabetes medication. In the survey, 58% of nurses said they had seen patients have an asthma attack or require emergency care as a result of not taking medication because they were unable to afford it.
Once more the contrast with Scotland is stark:
Asthma deaths are soaring in England and Wales but beginning to fall in Scotland. Clearly prescription costs will play a part but there seems to be another factor – a lack of basic checks in treatment plans including regular tests:
Scots asthma sufferers seem significantly more likely to have a treatment plan in place than those in England. The situation in Labour Wales is very bad with less than a third being treated properly.