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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.


NHS prescription costs

  • The current prescription charge is £8.60 per item (£17.20 per pair of elastic hosiery).
  • A three monthly PPC is £29.10 and will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in three months.  
  • A 12-month certificate is £104.00 and 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 prescription prepayment certificates allow anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for £2 per week.

Save money with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)

If you know you’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) – effectively a prescription 'season ticket'. A PPC covers you for all of your own NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need. However, this does not include other health costs, for example the provision of wigs and fabric supports which are only provided through the hospital service.There are two PPC options to choose from:
  1. A three month PPC costs £29.10 and will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in three months
  2. A 12 month PPC costs £104.00 and will save you money if you need more than 12 prescribed items in a year

How much can I save?

  • If you need two items each month you can save over £100 with a 12 month PPC
  • If you need three items each month you can save over £205 with a 12 month PPC
  • If you need four items each month you can save over £305 with a 12 month PPC

There are several payment options available. If you choose the 12 month PPC, you can pay for this by 10 monthly direct debit instalments.

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website

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