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Help with health costs

Save money with the prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)

Download the Prescription Prepayment Certificate poster (PDF, 14.4 mb)

Did you know you can save money on your prescription charges?

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 you for all of your own NHS prescriptions, including dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need. However, this does not include other health costs, for example the provision of wigs and fabric supports which are only provided through the hospital service.There are two PPC options to choose from:

  1. A three month PPC costs £29.10 and will save you money if you need four or more items in the three months
  2. A 12 month PPC costs £104.00 and will save you money if you need more than 13 items in a year

How much can I save?

  • If you need two items each month you can save around £90 with a 12 month PPC
  • If you need three items each month you can save around £180 with a 12 month PPC
  • If you need four items each month you can save around £280 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

Please check if you are entitled to free prescriptions before you apply for your PPC.

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

If you prefer talking to someone, you can call the PPC order line on 0300 330 1341. Again, your certificate is valid from the day you make the phone call unless you request otherwise.

Ensure you have your bank details or credit/debit card details ready.

TipAlthough the PPC is valid from the day of your application it may take a couple of days to receive your certificate. This means, until your PPC arrives you may have to pay for your prescription in advance and ask for a refund afterwards.

You can apply by post as well. Complete and sign your application form and send it with a cheque, postal order or credit/debit card details to:

NHS Help with Health Costs
PPC Issue Office
PO Box 854
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2DE

Print off a PPC application form here (PDF, 6.2 mb) or pick one up from your GP surgery or pharmacy.

Some pharmacies may be able to sell you a prescription prepayment certificate. However, you won’t be able to pay via direct debit if you purchase from a pharmacist. Please either contact your local pharmacy or view the list of registered pharmacies on the NHSBSA website (bottom of the page) to find out who is selling PPCs.

Useful tips

 

Remember to apply for a new PPC in good time, otherwise you will have to pay full prescription charges if your PPC runs out.

If you have to pay for prescriptions while you are waiting for a new PPC and need to apply for a refund, ask the pharmacist for a refund and receipt form (FP57) in order to claim back the costs. You can claim for the refund of prescription charges up to three months after paying. The refund and receipt form (FP57) explains what to do.

If you buy a 12 month PPC by direct debit you are entering a commitment to pay all the instalments. If you use the PPC after failing to pay an instalment you may incur a penalty charge.

General refunds

If for any reason you need to claim a refund on money paid for your prescription prepayment certificate, please send the original certificate and a letter explaining why you want a refund to:

NHS Business Services Authority
Help with Health Costs
PO Box 854
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2DE

Comments

The 5 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

John Smyth said on 23 October 2014

Please visit the Help with Health Costs Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/NHSBSAHelpWithHealthCosts

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SueJDan said on 02 October 2014

Do not buy a 12 month PPC!!

i bought one in December 13 and in June we started to get Pension Credit backdated to March. I was initially told by the pharmacist that I would get a refund as the DWP would let the NHS know, which was wrong. When nothing happened I looked on this website under general refunds and sent a letter explaining our situation. I received a letter stating that I was a few days over a 3 month limit! I've checked this website again and the only mention of a 3 month limit is in the section regarding getting a refund if you pay whilst waiting for new PPC. The letter I have received said I should have looked at another website which is more accurate!
So, to be clear, if you pay up front for a 12 month PPC and give the NHS money in advance of you needing meds, and you do not claim a refund straight away the NHS will keep all your money you have paid. Whereas, if you pay quarterly, with all the additional admin costs to the NHS you won't lose out! Crazy, and definitely following up with MP and media.

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Nic99 said on 15 December 2013

Please update your list of registered pharmacies where you can buy a PPC as I made a special journey to go to one on the list, and they said I couldn't buy one there.

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LSMark said on 22 November 2013

> why on earth does it take 7 working days to get the PPC after applying on line? This is excessive and must result in people being off medication a few days in a fair % of cases.

When you apply you can set your certificate to start on the day you want it to, which can be the day you're applying. I've found that most places accept your word if you say it hasn't arrived yet. In fact, there's a box for the pharmacist to tick for "evidence not seen". I guess it's all linked up on a computer somewhere and they know where we live if we lie!

When this hasn't happened I've had no problem getting a FP57 form and a refund (see above).

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sbsbsbsbsb said on 17 August 2013

why on earth does it take 7 working days to get the PPC after applying on line? This is excessive and must result in people being off medication a few days in a fair % of cases.
Registering for this is irritating - you wait til I have put in all the info then tell me my password is not long enough then you clear the fields making me do it all again. Why not say next to password it has to be 8 characters. Same with user name - if it is already taken you tell me but clear all the fields. This is unnecessary and reflects poorly on your IT support.

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Page last reviewed: 01/04/2014

Next review due: 01/04/2016

Important numbers

Phone 0300 330 1348 for the dental services help line

Phone 0300 330 1343 for the Low Income Scheme help line

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about medical exemption certificates.

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about PPCs.

Phone 0300 330 1349 for the prescription services help line

Phone 0300 330 1347 for queries about tax credit certificates

Phone 0300 123 0849 to order a paper copy of the HC12, HC5 or HC1 (SC) forms

For all other queries call 0300 330 1343

The PPC leaflet and application form

The new prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) leaflet gives you all the information on how to save money on your NHS prescription charges.