Paying for Prescriptions
Under NHS rules you have to pay a charge for each item prescribed. The charge is currently £7.20 per item. Not all patients have to pay for their prescriptions. If a patient is are entitled to free prescriptions they will be asked to show the pharmacist proof of this. Patients exempt from payment include the following:
- Those under 16 years of age
- Those aged 16 - 18 and in full-time education
- Those over 60 years of age
- Those holding a maternity exemption certificate
- Those holding a medical exemption certificate
- Those holding a prescription prepayment certificate
- Those holding a war pension exempt certificate
- Those named on a current HC2 charges certificate
- Those prescribed free of charge contraceptives
- Those receiving Income Support
- Those receiving Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Those holding a Working Families' Tax Credit exemption certificate
- Those holding a Disabled Person's Tax Credit exemption certificate
- Maternity Exemption Certificates
You are entitled to free prescriptions if you are currently pregnant or have had a baby within the past 12 months. You can apply for a Maternity Exemption Certificate using form FW8. You can get this form from the surgery. Your doctor or midwife will normally give you this form when you first attend antenatal clinic.
Medical Exemption Certificates
You can obtain a Medical Exemption certificate if you suffer from one of the conditions listed below:
- A permanent fistula (e.g. colostomy, laryngostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance.
- Epilepsy requiring continuous treatment.
- Diabetes Mellitus except when treated by diet alone.
- Myxoedema (underactive thyroid) requiring supplemental thyroid hormone (thyroxine).
- Diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism.
- Hypoadrenalism requiring essential substitution therapy (e.g Addison's disease).
- Myasthenia Gravis.
- A continuing permanent physical disability which prevents the patient from going out without the help of another person.
- Undergoing treatment for cancer including its effects or the effects of current or previous cancer treatment.
You can apply for a Medical Exemption Certificate by obtaining form FP29A and getting it signed by your doctor.
If you are not entitled to free prescriptions but receive a large amount of prescribed medication, you may wish to apply for a Pre-payment Certificate. The NHS advises patients to apply for one if they have to pay for four or more prescriptions in 4 months or 14 prescriptions in 12 months. The certificates last for 4 or 12 months and can be applied for by completing application form FP95. The form is available from a main Post Office, local pharmacies and the Health Authority. From 1 April 2009, the charges are:
- 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
- 3-month PPC: £28.25
The charge for a single prescription item is £7.20, whereas a three month PPC will cost you £28.25 and a 12 month PPC £104.00.
- Telephone advice and order line 0845 850 0030
- General Public - Buy or Renew a PPC On-line