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Prescriptions 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).

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
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • 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

PLEASE ASK AT THE RECEPTION DESK FOR AN EXEMPTION FORM AND THIS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOUR GP FOR SIGNING. YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE THE GP.

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 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): £8.40
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
  • 3-month PPC: £29.10

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.

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website

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