From April 2017 prescription charges are:
- Prescription (per item): £8.60 (£17.20 per pair of elastic hosiery)
- 3-month pre-payment certificate (PPC): £29.10
- 12-month pre-payment certificate (PPC): £104.00
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in a three month period, or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a Pre-payment Certificate (PPC).
PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalment payments. PPC allows anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for £2 per week.
Telephone advice and order line 0300 330 1341
Buy or Renew a PPC On-line
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges.
See below for more information or click here
If you seek treatment privately and are issued a prescription, the expectation is that you will pay for this yourself. You can take it to any pharmacy of your choosing.
The cost of a private prescription is often higher than an NHS prescription. This may be because you are in part paying a fee to the doctor that has issued it to you or because the cost of the medication has not been reduced by the NHS or because you are being offered a drug which is not available on the NHS.
We are encountering an increasing number of patients who seek treatment privately but then ask their GP to re-issue their medication as an NHS prescription, as the cost can be substantially cheaper.
Please be aware that your GP may not be able to do this and is not obliged to do so. A doctor who signs a prescription is taking responsibility for the monitoring and management of the condition being treated, and hence must feel competent and be prepared to do so. The doctor will not sign prescriptions if they do not feel in a position to do this. G.P's are also restricted under local Clinical Commissioning Group prescribing guidelines to what they are able to prescribe whereas private doctors are not.
Questions about prescription charges
Do I have to pay for my medication?
You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:
- are 60 or over
- are under 16
- are 16-18 and in full-time education
- are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate
- have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate
- have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate
- hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
- are an NHS inpatient
You are also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Universal Credit and meet the criteria
If you're entitled to or named on:
- a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both) and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
- a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.
Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).
Am I entitled to an exemption certificate?
People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if:
- they have one of the conditions listed below, and
- they hold a valid medical exemption certificate.
Medical exemption certificates are issued on application to people who have:
- a permanent fistula (for example caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
- a form of hypoadrenalism (for example Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
- diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
- diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
- myasthenia gravis
- myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
- epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
- a continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months
Or are undergoing treatment for cancer:
- including the effects of cancer, or
- the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
To apply for a medical exemption certificate ask at reception for an exemption form - the FP92A form. Once you’ve completed this your doctor will sign the form to confirm that your statement is correct and the reception team will post if for you.
Your certificate will be valid from one month before the date that the NHS Business Authrority receives the application form. Your medical exemption certificate lasts for five years and then needs to be renewed. You may receive a reminder that your certificate needs to be renewed. If you don't receive a reminder, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is renewed.