I have been prescribed a medication by a specialist service in the NHS that does not contain a haram (religiously impermissible) excipient ingredient (i.e. non-active). When my prescription was switched to being managed by my local doctor's surgery, they switched to a cheaper alternative that does contain the haram ingredient.

As far as I am aware, not eating haram products (food, medicine etc) is part of my religious right. If so is there any legal weight behind me requesting the halal (religiously permissible) medicine?

I'm intending to have an open discussion with them, and would just like to know the extent of my rights.

  • 1
    First ask someone who knows more about your religion whether it is actually true that you are not allowed to take this medication. Given the choice of getting ill or taking medication that contains the tiniest amount of pork products, your imam might tell you that taking the medication is alright.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 22:38
  • 1
    @gnasher it's not pork, and I have looked into this before posting. If I had questions about the permissibility of the product I could have asked on Islam. Whether the medication prevents me from falling ill shouldn't matter from a legal point of view, right? Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 22:46
  • Have they explained to you why they switched you to this medication? For example in Belgium, unless a doctor prescribed a specific brand, the pharmacy is obligated to give you the generic (i.e. cheaper) version. An honest conversation might get you a long way without getting into a legal discussion.
    – AsheraH
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 5:58
  • @AsheraH they said they did so as it was cheaper. I asked them to check whether it contained the bar ingredient, and if so to call me back to discuss. The next thing I know, the medication is waiting for me to collect with no discussion. The reason I want to know my rights, is to know whether I should say "Legally I have a right to ..." Or "can we find a different medicine altogether..." Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 9:20
  • 1
    @Hilmar I don't think that's going to be easy - note the UK context. In general prescription medicines prescribed within the NHS are charged at a flat rate, and free to many recipients. Paying (the difference) moves this onto a commercial basis. There are private prescriptions (paid consultation), which are then charged at full price (e.g. prophylactic anti-malarials for foreign travel) as well as paying a fee to the Dr. Requesting an appropriate version has a decent chance of success, but as getting the (probably v. busy) Drs to do the research failed a deeper conversation might be needed
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 16:34


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .