The current prescription charge as of April 2020 is £9.15 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.
Prescription prepayment certificates (PPC)
You can buy prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) from the NHS which may make your prescriptions cheaper.
A 3 or 12 month PPC covers all your prescriptions for that period, no matter how many you need. You can pay in 10 monthly instalments if you buy a 12 month PPC.
A PPC costs:
- £29.65 for 3 months
- £105.90 for 12 months
You can buy PPCs online or call 0300 330 1341.
Find out more about the prescription prepayment certificate.
If you need to access the services below then medicines are free:
- Medicines administered at a hospital
- Prescribed contraceptives
- Medicines personally administered by a GP
- Medicines supplied at a hospital or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clinic for the treatment of sexually transmitted infection or tuberculosis
Who is entitled to a free prescription?
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 (MatEx)
- Have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- Have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
- Hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
- Are an NHS inpatient
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
Also read the medical exemption certificate FAQ.
How to apply for a medical exemption certificate
To apply for a medical exemption certificate ask your doctor for an FP92A form. Your GP, hospital or service doctor will sign the form to confirm that your statement is correct.
Your certificate will be valid from one month before the date that the NHS Business Authority receives the application form.
The MedEx 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.
You can find more information about the application process and refunds on the NHS Business Authority’s website.