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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 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 certificiates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.

NHS Charges

  • The current prescription charge is £9.00 per item (£16.80 per paid of elastic hosiery)
  • A 3 monthly PPC is £29.10 and could save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
  • A 12 month certificate is £104.00 and could save you money if you need more than 12 prescribed items in a year.

NHS Low Income Scheme (claim form HC1)

The NHS Low Income Scheme Provides help for those who don't automatically qualify for help with health costs such as prescription charges, but who find it difficult to pay.  Anyone can apply using claim form HC1 as long as they don't have savings or capital of more than £16,000 (£23,250 for those permanently in a care home).

If anybody have difficulty completing forms a form completion service is available by ringing 0845 850 1166.

Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate (application form FP95)

If you pay for your prescriptions you can save money with a pre-payment certificate (PPC).  A 12 month PPC can be paid for either up front in full or by 10 monthly direct debit instalments of £10.40.

For greater convenience, you can apply:

  • Buy or renew a PPC online
  • by calling the PPC order line on 0845 850 0030
  • through a pharmacy registered to sell PPCs


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