Around 800,000 asthma sufferers have cut back on food to pay for their medication, figures suggest.
Charity Asthma UK said more than a third of patients were facing the “impossible choice” between buying food or life-saving inhalers.
Around 2.3 million asthma sufferers pay for prescriptions in England. But 35% of 7,500 surveyed said they had to choose between food and medication, equating to around 805,000 patients.
And 21% said they also had to cut back on essential bills to fund their treatment.
Single mum Tenesha Robertson, 36, is a care co-ordinator who lives in London.
She said: “I couldn’t afford to pay for gas and electricity and medication. I shouldn’t be put in the impossible position of having to choose whether I should buy life-saving medication or heating my home.”
Asthma UK’s Dr Samantha Walker said: “Hundreds of thousands of people with asthma are faced with an impossible choice – cut back on essentials like food and bills or cut back on medication. Around a million are cutting back on taking their medication.
“This puts them at risk of being hospitalised or even dying of an asthma attack.”
Charges for NHS prescriptions in England have shot up by 26% to £9 since 2010.
Asthma UK’s Stop Unfair Asthma Prescription Charges campaign aims to make medication free for sufferers, as it is for certain other long-term illnesses.
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