Saving money on NHS prescriptions with a Pre-payment Certificate

Free Prescriptions - Did you know that you may be entitled to free NHS prescriptions if the following criteria applies to you:

• are 60 or over

• have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx – please see below)

• have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx

• are an NHS inpatient

You're also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

• Income Support

• Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

Medical exemption certificates (MedEx) are issued on application to people who have:

• a permanent fistula (for example, a 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

• hypoparathyroidism

• myasthenia gravis

• myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)

• epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy

• a continuing physical disability that means the person can't go out without the help of another person – temporary disabilities don't count, even if they last for several months

They are also issued for people undergoing treatment for cancer:

• including the effects of cancer, or
• the effects of current or previous cancer treatment

Find out if you are entitled to free prescriptions on the NHS website

Save money with a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)

If you know you'll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) – effectively a prescription 'season ticket'.

A PPC covers all of your NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need.

There are two PPC options to choose from:

  • A 3-month PPC – costs £31.25 and will save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
  • A 12-month PPC – costs £111.60 and will save you money if you need more than 11 prescribed items in a year

How much can I save?

If you need:

  • 2 items each month – you can save more than £100 with a 12-month PPC
  • 3 items each month – you can save more than £205 with a 12-month PPC
  • 4 items each month – you can save more than £305 with a 12-month PPC

There are several payment options available. If you choose the 12-month PPC, you can pay for this by 10 monthly direct debit instalments.

How to apply for a PPC

It’s quickest to buy your PPC online from the NHS.
The PPC will start from the day you submit your application, unless you request a different start date, but the start date must be within one month before or after the date of your application.

You can call the PPC order line on 0300 330 1341. Your PPC will be valid from the day you make the phone call, unless you request otherwise.

Alternatively you can complete and sign your application form, which you can download here from the NHS, and send it along with a cheque, postal order, or credit or debit card details to:
NHS Help with Health Costs
PPC Issue Office
PO Box 854
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2DE

Read further information on buying a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)