Prescription costs in the UK can quickly add up, especially if you have several medications that need to be filled at once. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of prescription charges.
Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)
Patients who do not qualify for free prescriptions in the UK can still benefit from reduced cost prescriptions by purchasing a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC), which is like a season ticket. A Prescription Prepayment Certificate will cover the cost of all prescriptions purchased during a certain period.
Cost of Prescriptions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
If you regularly purchase prescriptions to help with an ongoing illness or condition that does not qualify for exemption, you could save money by purchasing a Prepayment Prescription Certificate. From 1 April 2009, the cost of a single prescription is £7.20 in England, £4.00 in Scotland and £3.00 in Northern Ireland.
Cost of Prescription Prepayment Certificate
A Prescription Prepayment Certificate costs £28.25 for 3 months and £104.00 for a year in England. In Scotland, the cost is £13.00 for 4 months and £38.00 for 12 months. If you live in Northern Ireland, a Prescription Prepayment Certificate costs £9.00 for 4 months. Prescription Prepayment Certificates can be cost effective for patients who need a regular supply of prescription medications over the course of a few months, to a year.
Where to Purchase a Prescription Prepayment Certificate
In England, you can purchase a Prescription Prepayment Certificate from your local pharmacy or your doctor’s surgery. Alternatively, you can download a copy online from www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx or by calling 0845 850 0030. If ordering by telephone, make sure you have your debit or credit card details ready. If you live in Scotland, you can obtain a Prescription Prepayment Certificate from your local pharmacy or NHS practitioner services. Or you can download an application form from www.psd.scot.nhs.uk/doctors/documents/EC95template04-2009.pdf Northern Ireland residents can obtain a form over the counter from a pharmacy of their choice.
Refunded Prescription Charges
Patients who are waiting for their Prescription Prepayment Certificate to arrive can apply for a refund for prescriptions they have paid for in the meantime. Ask for a receipt from the pharmacist (FR57 in England, PS7 in Northern Ireland and HCS(R) in Scotland) when you pay for the prescription. Complete the receipt form and return it for a refund. A refund is issued within three months of paying for a prescription, so do not delay in sending off your application if you are entitled to a refund.
A Prescription Prepayment Certificate can save patients who need several prescriptions over a period of time a lot of money. The cost varies depending on where you live in the UK and whether you are applying for a certificate that covers a few months or a year. Patients who are waiting to receive their certificate can apply for a refund for prescriptions they have purchased during the waiting period. See your pharmacist for more details.
Free or Reduced Cost Prescriptions