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.
Medical exemption certificates
People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if they have a valid medical exemption certificate.
A medical exemption certificate:
- entitles you to free NHS prescriptions only
- doesn't cover dental treatment or help with other health costs
- should be shown when you collect a prescription
- is valid for five years (or until your 60th birthday, whichever is sooner)
It’s your responsibility to check the expiry date, and if you claim free prescriptions after your certificate expires, you could have to pay a penalty charge of up to £100.
If you're entitled to a certificate because of your medical condition, please ask Reception for an application form.
These charges apply in England only.
- Prescription (per item): £9.15
- 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £105.90
- 3-month PPC: £29.65
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website