With all the hullabaloo in the United States as of late regarding the reform of our healthcare system, it go me thinking about a chat I had with a fellow Celiac or Coeliac as they say in her country, about the availability and related cost associated with living gluten free.
By now you have likely seen the New York Times article examined the high cost of purchasing gluten free items here in the United States. A couple of weeks ago I was chatting online with a new Celiac friend on Facebook who was asking about the availability and process associated with purchasing gluten free products here in the U.S. What she said next was very surprising to me…in the U.K. Celiacs can get essential gluten free staples on prescription from their GP. The prescribing of goods is also very calculated with specific guidelines for the allocation on goods based on such criteria as gender, age, recommended nutritional requirements, etc.). The foods are not entirely free as patients much still pay for their prescription in the U.K. unless otherwise exempted – though some countries like Wales and Scotland either do not charge or are moving towards not charging for prescriptions.
It is nice to see that one region has apparently got it right and views Celiac as a true disease and not just a food allergy. While I would love to see something similar available in the U.S. I doubt that it will ever happen which is unfortunate.