NHS prescriptions: Britons could cut their medicine bill by £28.39 a month | Personal finance | Finance

Many groups can get their drugs for free, but there are still millions of people who have to pay for each prescription. Currently, each prescription costs £9.35 per item in England.

Those living in Scotland and Wales can claim free medicines regardless of age, while people living in England can get free prescriptions if they are 60 or over.

A freedom of information request sent by MoneySavingExpert showed that more than a million people in England had missed a significant sum of money.

Households are losing an average savings of £40 in the 12 months to April 2021 because they failed to purchase a prepayment certificate.

If someone knows they will have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions, it may be cheaper to buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) – effectively a prescription “season pass”.

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A PPC can cover all of a person’s NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need.

There are two PPC options that people can choose from.

The three month PPC costs £30.25 and will save someone money if they need more than three prescribed items in three months.

The 12 month PPC costs £108.10 and will save someone money if they need more than 11 prescribed items a year.


Brits should check if they are eligible for free prescriptions before applying. They can check on the NHS website.

Their website says the fastest way to buy a PPC is online.

The PPC will start from the day someone submits their application, unless they request a different start date, but the start date must be within one month before or after their application date .

Britons can also call the PPC command line on 0300 330 1341.
Their certificate will be valid from the day of the telephone call, unless they request otherwise.

Individuals can receive their certificate details by email if they provide an email address, print them out at the end of their online application or receive the details by post.

If someone has to pay for prescriptions while they are waiting for details of a new CPAP and need to claim reimbursement, they should ask the pharmacist for an NHS receipt (FP57) so they can claim reimbursement of the cost.

Their PPC must cover the date they paid the prescription fee.

It is possible to request reimbursement of prescription costs up to three months after payment.

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, shared how much those who pay for expensive drugs can save if they buy a PPC.

Ms Haines explained: “If you take medicine regularly and therefore have a lot of NHS prescriptions to pay for – each prescription costing £9.35 per item – it may be cheaper to buy a prepaid certificate from arrangement.

“While a three month PPC costs £30.25 and will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in that time, the 12 month option costs £108.10 and allows you save money if you need more than 11 prescription items per year.

“To break down the savings further: two items per month will save a 12 month PPC holder £116.30 per month, with three items per month resulting in a saving of £228.50 and four items per month saving £340 £.70 – this is the equivalent of £28:39.

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