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

Prescription Exemptions

An NHS exemption certificate helps you to pay for your NHS costs, such as prescriptions or dental treatment. Check if you have an exemption from paying NHS costs below

NHS charges

The prescription charges from 1st May 2024 are:

  • Prescription (per item): £9.90
  • 3 month pre-payment certificate (PPC): £32.05
  • 12 month prepayment certificate (PPC): £114.50
  • 12 month HRT prepayment certificate (PPC): £19.80 (this is for HRT prescriptions only)

The HRT PPC will cover certain HRT medicines for twice the single prescription charge and will be valid for 12 months. It will save you money if you need to pay for 3 or more HRT prescription charges within 12 months. Your GP may prescribe you other HRT medicines that are not covered by an HRT PPC. It is important to check that the medicine you need is covered by an HRT PPC before you buy a HRT PPC. If you apply for a 3 month or 12 month pre-payment certificate then HRT medication will be included in this certificate and you won’t need to apply for the HRT pre-payment separately.

If you will need to pay for 4 or more prescription items in 3 months, or 12 or more items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.