Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions
The NHS prescription charge is a contribution to the NHS - it is not a payment to the surgery or its dispensary and it is not related to the cost of your medicine(s). It is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines.
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs). Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.
These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge. These new charges apply from 1st April 2020:
- Prescription (per item): £9.15
- 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £105.90
- 3-month PPC: £29.65
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC. PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalments payments.
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website
Penalty Charges - Don't Get Caught Out
The NHS has launched a new tool that allows you to check if you're eligible for free prescriptions or other help with health costs.
The prescription eligibility checker has been officially launched as part of the health service's new 'Check Before You Tick' campaign. This campaign aims to help people understand if they are entitled to free prescriptions and how to claim correctly.
To check if you are eligible for free prescriptions, click here.
Click here for an Easy Read leaflet on eligibility