Shoppers have been asked not to buy gluten-free foods unless they have coeliac disease to ensure supplies are there for people who really need them.
Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has written to the Secretary of State for Health to request that the NHS reintroduce gluten-free products on prescription in Derbyshire and urged non-coeliacs not to buy gluten-free foods.
Toby said, “I have been contacted by constituents with coeliac disease who have not been able to buy gluten-free bread and other products due to people panic buying and taking the gluten-free foods when they don’t really need them. This is deeply irresponsible and has to stop. Coeliacs can suffer serious health complications if they cannot maintain a gluten-free diet. I appreciate that it must be frustrating if you cannot get a loaf of bread, but people should not be buying gluten-free food unless they medically need it.”
People in Chesterfield with coeliac disease were entitled to a certain number of gluten-free products on prescription up until 2018 but following a consultation by the Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, funding for gluten free prescriptions was removed for Derbyshire residents.
Toby added, “I fought against the decision to remove gluten-free prescriptions in 2018, and the current crisis has shown why these prescriptions were so important. I have written to the Health Secretary to request that he ensures all coeliacs are able to get gluten-free staple foods on prescription. I have also urged the Government to take make sure supermarkets have the supply of gluten-free foods we need, and to reserve items for people who need them.”