Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).
The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.
From 1 April 2021, the charges are:
- current prescription charge – £9.35 per item (excluding elastic hosiery)
- three-month PPC – £30.25; this will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in three months
- 12-month PPC – £108.10; this will save you money if you need more than 12 prescribed items in a year
PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalment payments. The certificates allow anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for around £2 a week.
Find out more about the prescription prepayment certificate.
If you need to access the services below, the medicines you're prescribed are free:
- medicines administered at a hospital or an NHS walk-in centre
- prescribed contraceptives
- medicines personally administered by a GP or provided via a patient group direction (PGD)
- medicines supplied at a hospital or clinical commissioning group (CCG) clinic for the treatment of a sexually transmitted infection, tuberculosis, or a mental disorder for those subject to a supervised community treatment order
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website
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