Are pregnant women entitled to free NHS prescriptions?

Yes. If you’re pregnant, you’re entitled to free NHS prescriptions as long as you have a valid maternity exemption certificate or card (Matex).

Applying for a maternity exemption certificate

You should apply for a maternity exemption certificate using an application form FW8, available from your midwife, GP or health visitor. They will also need to sign the form.

The certificate will be valid from one month before the date that the application is received until:

  • twelve months after the expected date of the baby's birth, or
  • if the baby has already been born, 12 months after their date of birth

If you need to pay for any prescriptions before you receive your certificate, you may be able to claim a refund. When you pay, ask your pharmacist for an official NHS receipt (form FP57 in England or WP57 in Wales).

After your baby is born

You’re also entitled to free NHS prescriptions for 12 months after your baby is born. To prove your entitlement, you will need to show a valid maternity exemption certificate.

If you did not apply for a maternity exemption certificate while you were pregnant, you can still apply at any time during the 12 months after your baby is born.

Read the answers to more questions about NHS services and treatments.    

Further information:

 

Video: antenatal screening

Antenatal screening helps you manage your pregnancy better and lets you know how your baby is progressing. Two mums talk about what screening involves.

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Next review due:

Page last reviewed: 09/10/2012

Next review due: 08/10/2014