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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Are Local UK Health Plans Dangerous for People with Celiac Disease?

      Local health chiefs in UK are beings slammed for what critics are calling a pointless consultation over gluten-free food prescriptions. Cutting prescriptions could lead to 'health inequality' say critics.

    Caption: Image: CC--Ștefan Jurcă

    Celiac.com 07/24/2018 - The UK is in the midst of a national evaluation and reshaping of gluten-free prescription practices for people with celiac disease. Meanwhile, local health authorities in Calderdale, UK, are catching heat for a plan to consult with local people on proposed prescription cuts for gluten-free foods, branded medications and over the counter supermarket items.

    Critics, including leading charity, Coeliac UK, strongly oppose cutting gluten-free prescriptions for patients in Calderdale and elsewhere. They say the plan is a pointless waste of time and money, as results are due in from a nationwide consultation.

    Chief executive Sarah Sleet described the move by the NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as a poor use of public money. The Commissioning Group claims that consulting with local people over the plans could save £800,000 a year, while Sleet warns that, if approved, the move will result in “health inequality.”

    The Commissioning Group is proposing to eliminate funding of certain gluten-free products on prescription, thus saving £120,000. The plan would affect all people who receive gluten-free foods on prescription.  Coeliac UK contends that any reduction or elimination of gluten-free prescriptions will negatively impact the ability of celiac patients, to access needed gluten-free foods.

    The consultation exercise in Calderdale is slated to run through December 4. Meanwhile, Results are forthcoming from a recently concluded national consultation on gluten-free prescription practices in the UK.

    Stay tuned for more on what these decisions mean for UK residents living with celiac disease.

    See the CCG's online consultation survey.



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    It is a waste of money & resources unless the products are cleared of gluten cross-reactors in addition to the gluten in the staple products:

    1. Yeast

    2. Egg

    3. Dairy

    Additionally, oils not specified as extra-virgin should be avoided by celiac patients.

    Isn't it interesting that this is an issue since only 1.4% of the population is affected?

    How will the non-celiac sensitivity diseased patients be managed? 

    How will the farmers & food manufacturers be affected when the number of celiac & gluten sensitive cases rise to 10% or 15% or 25% of the population? 

    Why didn't scientist think this far into the future prior to the introduction of Chemical Hybridizing Agents (CHA's) & CMS system?

    ANSWER: $$Wheat economics$$

     

     

     

     

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/08/2012 - In the UK, people with celiac disease get their gluten-free food subsidized by the government as part of their national health care. This includes items like gluten-free pizzas.
    This practice works in much the same way that insurance companies in America cover drug prescriptions for their members. Those members with a doctor's prescription pay a reduced cost or no cost at all on certain items. In the UK, everyone is insured by the National Health Service (NHS). There, people with celiac disease and certain other conditions get prescriptions that allow them to obtain gluten-free food at a reduced cost.
    In a recent story, BBC news claims that, as part of this service, the NHS is spending £17 (about $26) on each gluten-free pizza it supplies. That amount would equal four times the original base price of the pizza, since they originally cost less than £4.50 (about $6) each.
    According to the BBC, once manufacturing, handling and delivery fees were added, the bill for the NHS had risen to £34 (over fifty bucks) for two pizzas.
    Without acknowledging the actual cost per pizza, Stuart Lakin, head of medicines management at NHS Rotherham, said that the NHS was making efforts to minimize wholesaler delivery charges on the pizzas by switching patients from brands that attract additional charges. He added that costs for all gluten-free products was down from £274,611 in 2009/10 to just £177,153 in 2011/12.
    Moreover, he noted, only patients with clinically diagnosed celiac disease are eligible for prescriptions for gluten-free products.
    Health Secretary Andrew Lansley pointed out that prescriptions encouraged celiac sufferers to more strictly follow gluten-free diets, but admitted that the practice is ‘under ongoing review.'
    What do you think? Should gluten-free food be treated like medicine for people with celiac disease, and be covered under insurance plans like prescription drugs?
    Is $26 dollars too much to pay for a gluten-free pizza?
    Source:
    BBC News

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/25/2017 - The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) has initiated a public comment period on gluten-free labeling in England.
    The FSA is inviting industry feedback on the proposed Gluten In Food (Information for Consumers) (England) Regulations 2017. This regulation enforces the new European Union regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 828/2014), which standardizes labeling information on products that are gluten-free or very low in gluten.
    The law does not require any change in formulation, ingredients or the methods for these products, but does mandate new wording for product labels. It also clarifies for consumers the difference between foods naturally free of gluten, and those specially formulated for people with gluten intolerance.
    The proposed rule applies to England only, not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The rule change is, in part at least, a response to rising numbers of product complaints.
    According to the FSA, approximately 1% of the UK population (around 600,000 people) suffers from celiac disease, while nearly half a million people remain undiagnosed.
    Currently, food businesses are permitted to make voluntary gluten-free or low in gluten claims, but this has led to inconsistency and confusion in many cases. Such confusion could cause health problems for those who are gluten-intolerant.
    Many of these products also fetch a premium price because of their gluten-free claims, stated the FSA.
    The aim of the English regulation is to standardize the permitted claims about gluten. Manufacturers will be limited to the use of the words "gluten-free" or "very low gluten" along with clear and limited supporting information.
    No other claims or descriptions are allowed, and products that fail to conform to labeling standards can be fined.
    The previously accepted phrase "No gluten containing ingredients (NGCI)" can no longer be used on product labels.
    Enforcement of FSA rules will take effect February 20, 2018.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/07/2017 - The Brits are having a bit of a dustup over the best way to help people support with celiac disease.
    Currently, Britain's National Health Service supplies prescriptions for gluten-free food staples for people with celiac disease. Seemingly, no one disagrees with medical experts that celiac suffers should get support from the National Health Service to buy certain staple gluten-free products.
    The question, at least from one side of the political spectrum, seems to be whether prescriptions are the best way to provide that support. And that question lies at the heart of the dustup.
    In a recent article, the British Medical Journal presents a 'head to head' case for and against gluten-free prescriptions on the NHS.
    In opposition to prescriptions, James Cave, a GP from Newbury, suggests an alternative would be a national voucher scheme or a personalized health budget for patients, so they receive the difference between the cost of gluten-free products and the prescription.
    Matthew Kurien clinical lecturer in gastroenterology, Professor David Sanders, and Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK make the case in favor of providing prescription access to gluten-free staple foods, and say that removing prescriptions unfairly discriminates against people with celiac disease.
    They explain "targeting gluten-free food prescriptions may reduce costs in the short term but there will be long term costs in terms of patient outcomes." They also note that there is no other example in the NHS of a disease having its treatment costs cut by 50-100 per cent.
    Read more at Plymouth Herald.com.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/20/2017 - In the face of budget cuts, and in a move that may offer a glimpse of things to come, doctors with the the UK's National Health Service are eliminating gluten-free food prescriptions for adults, beginning in parts of Devon.
    As of July 1, the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for planning and buying the majority of healthcare services for local people have recommended limiting gluten free foods including bread, pasta, flour and multipurpose mixes, to under 18 years of age.
    That means that approximately 3,400 adults in Devon will no longer receive gluten free food prescriptions, a move calculated to save tax payers around £350,000 per year.
    The CCG says the action is part of a plan to encourage people to purchase items that they usually get via a physician's prescription.
    The new guidelines were allegedly developed with input from GPs, patients and other stakeholders. The patient letter from the CCG said: "Gluten free products are now widely available from shops and online, and are often sold to the public at prices that are considerably lower than the NHS pays when they are provided on prescription. Given greater availability and lower cost, the CCG says that the move makes sense.
    However, many gluten-free Devon residents are offended by what they see as an attempt to pass higher costs to them. One resident, Graham Devaney, of Umberleigh, said: "I think it's absolutely disgusting. I now won't be able to eat bread because for a small loaf of gluten free bread from Sainsbury's it costs about £3, and I can't afford that because I'm disabled."
    Read more at devonlive.com.

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