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 charges

The Department of Health & Social Care announced that NHS Prescription charges rose, and it came into effect on 1st May 2024.

The current prescription charge is £9.90 per item.

Some items are always free, including contraception and medicines prescribed for hospital inpatients.

You can save money by buying a NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC). Rather than paying £9.90 for each prescription item, the three and 12-month PPC covers unlimited NHS prescriptions. This offers savings for those who need four or more items in three months, or 12 or more items in 12 months.

There are 3 PPC options:

  • a 3-month PPC costs £32.05 and will save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
  • a 12-month PPC costs £114.50 and will save you money if you need more than 11 prescribed items in a year
  • a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) PPC costs £19.80 and will save you money if you need more than 2 prescribed qualifying HRT items in a year

Prepayment & Exemption Certification

Please ensure that you keep your pre-payment or exemption cards/certificates up to date. It is your responsibility to ensure they are valid, if you use an expired certificate, you may receive a penalty charge of up to £100.

We do ask that you bring your pre-payment or exemption cards with you when collecting any medication as proof.

If we have not seen your pre-payment or exemption details, you may need to be charged or in the case of exemption be fined by the regulatory authorities if you make a false declaration.

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