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  • Jefferson Adams

    UK Cuts Gluten-Free Food Prescriptions

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      UK National Health Service is moving to end gluten-free prescriptions, beginning in parts of Devon.


    UK National Health Service has announced cuts to gluten-free prescriptions. Photo: CC--SludgeG
    Caption: UK National Health Service has announced cuts to gluten-free prescriptions. Photo: CC--SludgeG

    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.



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    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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    This is old news I'm afraid. My CCG, South Devon & Torbay, stopped offering gluten-free food on prescription over a year ago. I received a letter around the 7th June stating that prescriptions "would be" stopped on the 1st June 2016, it having been posted on the 2nd! There was no consultation beforehand and I had no idea this was going to happen.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF 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.


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