Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions
The NHS prescription charge is a contribution to the NHS - it is not a payment to the surgery or its dispensary and it is not related to the cost of your medicine(s). It is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines.
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs). Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.
These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge. The government announced in May that these charges would be frozen until 2023:
- Prescription (per item): £9.35
- 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £108.10
- 3-month PPC: £30.25
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. PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalments payments.
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website