Gluten free food must remain on prescription, charity urges
Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people with coeliac disease, believesÂ thatÂ the current NHS consultation on the availability of gluten free foods offers aÂ chance to developÂ a national approach to providing gluten free foods on prescription, in contrast to the current postcode lottery facing patients across England.Â
In its official response, the charityÂ alsoÂ states that it is fundamentally oppposed to the removal of access to gluten free food on prescription, which is one of the consultation's proposals. Â
Chief executive of Coeliac UK Sarah Sleet said: â€œThere is an economic case for retaining access to gluten free prescribing in primary care. National Institute of Health and Care Excellence Â Health Economic analysis estimates the basic cost of gluten free food on prescription is Â£194.24 per patient per year.
"By contrast, treatment of an osteoporotic hip fracture costs on average Â£27,000 â€“ the equivalent to 138 years of prescribing gluten free staples for an individual. Given around 40% of adults with coeliac disease have osteoporosis or osteopenia at diagnosis there is a real risk that short term savings will result in long term expense.â€
The consultation is open until 22 June 2017.