Patients battling cancer in England, UK, can now start applying for free medicine.
Charges will no longer apply to patients who meet the requirements from April, but applications for the payment opt-out can be submitted from January 20.
It follows an announcement from Prime Minister Gordon Brown that patients with long-term conditions will be able to get their drugs free on the NHS.
As Scotland prepares to follow the example of the Welsh Assembly and scrap charges for all drugs, campaigners have been calling for all patients in England to be exempt.
The provisions relating to England mean anyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment will have all medicines for free, these include drugs not relating to the actual disease.
Patients seeking exemption will apply for a five-year certificate which can be renewed as many times as necessary and will not have to be returned if their condition changes.
GP surgeries and oncology clinics will supply application forms that must be countersigned by the patient’s GP, hospital doctor or service doctor.
Copyright Press Association 2009