Your health, your way

Your NHS guide to long-term conditions and self care

Prescription costs: make savings

How people with long-term health conditions can save money on prescription costs, including how to claim for free prescriptions and how to buy a prescription charge 'season ticket'

Some people are entitled to free prescriptions because of their age, income or medical condition. You are eligible for free NHS prescriptions if you:

  • are aged 60 or over
  • are aged under 16
  • are aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • have a medical exemption certificate because your condition is on the list, you or your partner are on Income Support, or you can qualify via other benefits or tax credits

To find out if you're eligible for free prescriptions, read about help with health costs.

Save money on your prescription costs

If you can't get free prescriptions, there is another way to save money.

A Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) is a kind of prescription charge season ticket. It covers you for all of your own NHS prescription charges, no matter how many items you need.

The charge for a single prescription is £8.05, whereas a three-month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12-month PPC is £104.00. To help spread the cost of a 12-month certificate, you can pay by direct debit with 10 monthly instalments.

It's easy to buy a PPC. You can:

  • buy online – visit GOV.UK for more information
  • phone 0300 330 1341
  • fill in form FP95, which you can get from your pharmacy
  • some pharmacies sell them direct

NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)

This scheme can help you with NHS costs, including:

  • prescription costs
  • dental treatment
  • eyesight tests and eyecare costs
  • wigs, fabric supports
  • cost of travel to NHS appointments

If you are on a low income, you can get help by visiting the NHS Low Income Scheme website

Page last reviewed: 07/11/2014

Next review due: 07/11/2016


The 6 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Malingering Hector said on 27 April 2015

Save on prescription costs, move to Scotland, Wales or NI

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RogerHP said on 12 March 2015

I feel that it is unfair that someone who is in full time education is expected to pay prescription charges. My granddaughter is 18 and still attends school. This makes the charge a discouragement to continue in education or to go on to university.

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acook87 said on 12 November 2014

There is obviously free prescriptions for students 16-18 but what about other students who are above that age. I've returned to full time education, reducing my working hours so not earning as much. However I'm still paying the same bills. I'm on a repeat Perscription & it's an expense I worry about every month. Could there not be either a reduction in the cost or free prescriptions for ALL full time students?

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rachyblue said on 29 August 2014

You can buy a Pre Payment Card for less than £11 a month if you are struggling.

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Tracey ed said on 22 April 2014

I'm also an asthma patient. Also have COPD. I have to take anti depression pills due to the fact that I lost my my son in a car accident. On average I have 7 different medications per day. I can't afford it. I only work part time within the NHS as that's all I can get at the moment. If I didn't work they would be free!! If I stopped buying my medication I would have to go to hospital probably twice a day which would cost more. Common sense should prevail over getting more money out of us that all ready pay for our necessary treatment surely.

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Anonymous said on 09 July 2013

The site relating to prescription costs states single prescription charge is £7.65 but is it not £7.85?

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NHS Low Income Scheme

If you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with NHS costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)

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