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Gluten Free Prescriptions

The debate over gluten free prescriptions seems to be really hotting up as more NHS trusts reduce the amount available or are stopping the entitlement all together. For those of you who are not aware, people diagnosed with Coeliac disease (the autoimmune disease where gluten damages the stomach lining and the only cure is a life long gluten free diet) have been able to get certain gluten free foods on prescription. These are items such as bread, flour, biscuits, pasta etc.

This first came about when gluten free food was almost unheard of in shops and to encourage people to stick to a gluten free diet. However, as NHS budgets continually get cut and more 'free from' food is in everyday stores this is one area that more and more GPs are reluctant to prescribe. 

I can see both sides of the argument but have always tended to side with the view that these prescriptions are outdated and not a necessity in these times. Having a GP as a mum has probably shaped this view and the fact the dog wouldn't even eat the biscuits I used to get on prescription when first diagnosed in 1996! I know not everyone can easily afford 'free from' foods in supermarkets but should that mean that other medicines have to be compromised in order for GPs to be able to prescribe these foods? I think a good solution would be to just have flour mixes, such as bread, cakes, pizza bases etc available to order on prescription for those on low incomes and new to the diet. Hopefully as time goes on the ingredients for gluten free foods will start to come down as demand grows (the main reason why they are twice the price of regular foods) and the need for prescriptions will become less and less. 

What do you think?


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