Prescription fees

Prescription 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 if 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


These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.


  • Prescription (per item): £9.15
  • 3 month prepayment certificate (PPC): £29.65 and will save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
  • 12 month prepayment certificate (PPC): £105.90 and will save you money if you need more than 11 prescribed items in a year

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 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


The following are entitled to free NHS prescriptions

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16, 17, 18 and in full-time education
  • 60 years or older
  • Prescriptions for contraception
  • On Income Support
  • On Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Holder of War Pension exemption certificate
  • Holder of HC2 charges certificate
  • Receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pregnant or within one year of giving of giving birth (please ask GP for form FW8 to apply for a maternity exemption certificate)
  • Permanent stoma (e.g. Colostomy, ileostomy) epilepsy on continuous medication, diabetes treated with tablets and/or insulin, hypothyroidism on regular thyroxine, hypoparathyroidism, diabetes insipidus, hypopituitarism, Addison’s disease, myasthenia gravis, permanent disability requiring the assistance of one person to go out.
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