There are several ways that you can get help with your prescription costs, depending on your circumstances.
Prescription Prepayment Certificates
Prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) are available in England and they can save you money.
From 1 April 2019, the charges are:
- Prescription (per item): £9.15
- 12-month pre-payment 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 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC. The charge for a single prescription item is £9.15, whereas a three month PPC will cost you £29.65 and a 12 month PPC £105.90.
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website
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. At your GP's discretion, a member of the practice who has access to your medical records can also sign the form.
Your certificate will be valid from one month before the date that the NHS Business Authrority 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.