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Help with health costs

Get help with prescription costs

Prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) are available in England and they can save you money.

Prescription costs as of April 1 2014

  • The current prescription charge is £8.05 (£16.10 per pair of elastic hosiery).
  • A three monthly PPC is £29.10. This saves you money if you need four or more items in three months. 
  • A 12-month certificate is £104.00 and saves money if 13 or more items are needed in 12 months.

PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalment payments. The prescription prepayment certificates allow anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for £2 per week. 

Find out more about the prescription prepayment certificate.

If you need to access the services below then medicines are free:

Who is entitled to free prescriptions?

You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16-18 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)  
  • have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
  • hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS inpatient

You are also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner (including civil partners) are named on, or are entitled to, an NHS tax credit exemption certificate or a valid HC2 certificate (full help with health costs), or you receive either:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or  
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit 
  • Universal Credit

 Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Medical exemptions

People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if:

  • they have one of the conditions listed below, and
  • they hold a valid medical exemption certificate.

Medical exemption certificates are issued on application to people who have:

  • a permanent fistula (for example caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
  • epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months

Or are undergoing treatment for cancer:

  • including the effects of cancer, or
  • the effects of current or previous cancer treatment

Also read the medical exemption certificate FAQ.

How to apply for a medical exemption certificate

To apply for a medical exemption certificate ask your doctor for an FP92A form. Your GP, hospital or service doctor will sign the form to confirm that your statement is correct. At your GP's discretion, a member of the practice who has access to your medical records can also sign the form.

Your certificate will be valid from one month before the date that the NHS Business Authrority receives the application form.

The MedEx lasts for five years and then needs to be renewed. You may receive a reminder that your certificate needs to be renewed. If you don't receive a reminder, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is renewed.

You can find more information about the application process and refunds on the NHS Business Authority's website.

Free prescriptions for cancer patients

Prescription charges for cancer patients were abolished on April 1 2009.

Exemption certificates will be issued to those applicants who, in their doctor's judgement, are receiving treatment for:

  • cancer
  • the effects of cancer, or
  • the effects of current or previous cancer treatment

Guidance about the extension of the list of medical conditions has been issued to doctors. It includes guidance on who the new medical exemption is intended to cover. 

Exemption for renal dialysis patients

Any renal dialysis patient who has a permanent fistula (permanent means lasting indefinitely) that requires an appliance or surgical dressing, is entitled to medical exemption if they have completed application form FP92A and a doctor has signed the form to confirm the condition. Whether or not you have a permanent fistula that requires an appliance or surgical dressing is a matter for your doctor's clinical judgement.

The criteria are met where there is a clinical need for a permanent fistula to be covered by a surgical dressing (for example between haemodialysis treatments) or by an appliance (such as a catheter for peritoneal dialysis).

Exemption for pregnant women

If you are pregnant, or have had a baby in the last 12 months, you get free:

  • NHS prescriptions, but only if you have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • NHS dental treatment if, when you are accepted for a course of treatment, you are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months

To apply for your maternity exemption certificate (MatEx) ask your doctor, nurse, midwife or health visitor for form FW8. You complete parts 1 and 2 of the form and your doctor, midwife or health visitor signs it to confirm that the information given by you is correct.

Your MatEx will last until 12 months after the expected date of birth of your baby. If your baby is born early you can continue to use your MatEx until the certificate expires. If your baby is born late you can apply for an extension. If you apply after your baby is born, your MatEx will run for 12 months from your baby’s birth.

For more information on how to apply for a MatEx visit the NHS Business Services Authority website. 

I am on a low income, how can I get help with NHS charges?

If you are on a low income you may be eligible to receive financial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme. To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete form HC1, which is available from Jobcentre Plus offices or most NHS hospitals. Your doctor, dentist or optician may be able to give you one, too. You can also get an HC1 form by calling 0845 610 1112.

Whether you qualify for help is based on a comparison between your weekly income and assessed requirements at the time the claim is made. For more information about requirements visit NHS: help with health costs.

You will qualify for a full help HC2 certificate (which includes free NHS prescriptions) if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or your income is greater than your requirements by no more than half the current English prescription charge.

You will qualify for a limited help HC3 certificate if your income is greater than your requirements by more than half the current English prescription charge. The HC3 certificate shows how much you have to pay towards your health costs.

Certificates are usually valid for periods of between six months and five years, depending on your circumstances.

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

How can I claim a refund?

Ask your pharmacist, hospital or doctor for an NHS receipt form FP57 when you pay for your prescription. You can't get one later. You have to apply for a refund within three months of paying the prescription charge.

If you have paid for a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) and have become exempt from paying for prescriptions, you may be able to get some or all of the money back for your PPC.

An explanation of how to claim a refund of your PPC fee can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority website or in leaflet HC11: help with health costs (PDF, 430kb) . You can also obtain the leaflet from the DH publications order line on 0845 610 1112.

Comments

The 96 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Editor NHS Choices said on 01 October 2014

If you want answers about help with health costs, join the Help with Health Costs Facebook page where the NHS Business Services Authority will respond to help with health costs questions Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm; https://www.facebook.com/NHSBSAHelpWithHealthCosts

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MrWoodchip said on 16 September 2014

I've noticed a small loophole in the free prescriptions thing. I, quite unfortunately, dropped out of college. Bad choice of subject, couldn't understand it. Irrelevant. I have, since then, been looking for work. In this time between, my income has been roughly £0. Now, me being 17 means I can't apply for jobseeker's allowance. So for a year, I have no way to get prescriptions, unless I ask around for help.

Clearly whoever wrote up the parameters for free prescriptions intended for anyone who couldn't find work whilst actively looking for it to be applicable for free prescriptions. They missed a spot.

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LRChandler94 said on 25 August 2014

I have a condition called IGA Nephropathy. This effects my kidneys and eventually I may have to have dialysis.
I've been diagnosed with this condition for about 10 years. I've only recently started paying prescription charges, because I was 16-18 and in full-time education. Now I'm off to university, aged 19 and I have to pay. Is there anyway I can get discount, or become exempted?
University is expensive enough and I've had this condition long-term and will do for life. I've tried to claim a refund before but it is extremely complicated and time consuming.

Also; is it more beneficial for me to get a 6 month supply then monthly? I only collect one medication type, if I got 6 months would that still cost £8.05 or 6 x £8.05?

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MadGlover said on 13 August 2014

I am a female, 19 years of age, who has been diagnosed with a small range of conditions- one of which is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). PCOS is a known cause of Insulin-resistance ( a symptom that if untreated can lead to Diabetes and the symptoms of Diabetes). Mainly PCOS causes or is caused by Hormonal inbalance. PCOS can be treated (but not necessarily 'cured') by the same medication that can be prescribed for Diabetes; 'Metformin'. Metformin combats some of the Symptoms of PCOS but can also act as a prevention method of Diabetes ( a condition that commonly follows people with untreated PCOS) When I go to a pharmacy to recieve my medication I am asked (to check whether I need to pay for the medication or not) "Do you use this medication for Diabetes" to which I would reply "No"- so I will have to pay, regularly until (hopefully) my PCOS symptoms continue to be combatted and (hopefully) one day my body will naturally regulate it's own hormones. Is it fair that I pay for medication that is used to treat a condition with very similar symptoms to my own, or for a medication that can help prevent a condition that would later allow the treatment for which to be payed for me anyway ( Diabetes)? I would like to know if I am able to recieve this medication for free- as is the case with Diabetes patients and other patients who have hormone-inbalance- prone conditions? Thanks.

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jeremyjeremy said on 07 August 2014

I have a skin disorder and as such use multiple meds every month.
I have been using the pre pay which costs me £110 per year, under a tenner a month.
Everyone with multiple prescriptions should do this.

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CharlotteW89 said on 06 August 2014

I am currently on anti-seizure pills because I have lesions on my brain, similar to ms, which causes partial seizures and cocodamol for the terrible headaches this sometimes causes. Am I able to get one of these to help pay? I'm not bothered by the cocodamol, as my Dr will prescribe enough to last me a while. However, I am waiting on results from my neurologist to what is actually causing my lesions, eg the ms and a genetic test for cadasil. I know that if I do have ms, I could be eligible for dla, which would be used to pay for the prescriptions.

I cannot get the low income certificate as I live with my mum and work myself.

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amyetcl said on 21 July 2014

I am 20yr n still at college I have arthritis n asthma and they say I have to pay for my prescription even though I dont work as no one wants to hire me cause of my arthritis and my mum dont erarn enough to pay so I either quit college and clame esa and never get a job in my life or get and education or dont take my meds and go college for not even 2 week and end up in pain swollen and not be able to go college so go on sick and end up claiming esa in the end and with no job

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CherryDoodles said on 28 June 2014

As a type 1 diabetic with hypothyroidism, I consider my fortunate to not have to pay for medical prescription charges.

However, to those of you complaining about having to pay, diabetics are highly susceptible to anything! As such, I also take meds for hypertension, high cholesterol, depression, polycystic ovaries and asthma. All a result of diabetes. I was also prescribed aspirin, however, since it's only 50p per month from Boots, I thought I'd spring for it myself.

Diabetics are also prone to mouth infections and antibiotics for this can only be prescribed by a dentist. Funnily enough, diabetics DON'T get free dentist treatment, so I do have to pay for that prescription.

In all, I'm currently taking 4 injections, 16 inhaler puffs and 8 pills per day. I'd happily give away my free prescriptions for a working pancreas and thyroid gland. If they got fixed, everything else would go away.

I'm curious as to what will happen after Scotland regains its independence. As a part of the UK, along with Northern Ireland and Wales, Scotland doesn't pay for prescription charges. When Scotland leaves us, does that then mean England could get all medications for free?

Just a thought.

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cwysiecki said on 28 June 2014

Applied for a HC2 form but got sent a HC3 eventhough I'm on a fairly low wage/income I have a mental health condition which requires various medications which I practically have to take otherwise I would have another relapse in hospital and be claiming SSP again. Each perscription item costs. I spoke to my doctor about it saying that people with thyroid problems or diabitites get their perscriptions for free could people with mental health medications get it free too and he said no because it's not down to hormones. I don't think it's fair even if I am working, I didn't choose to have the illness and I really don't even want the medication as the side effects are something else but really I have no choice but to pay the £8.05 per item on my persrciption. I think more should be done to help people with mental health conditions instead of everyone making cut backs on this area.

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Samm94 said on 09 June 2014

What I think is a problem, is that you do not have to pay for medication from a pharmacist if you are 16,17,18 and in full time education. I am 19 and still in full time education, yet when I went to the pharmacist to collect my medication, with proof that I was still in full time education, I was told that it didn't matter and I still had to pay. I know you can fill a form out to try and claim a refund but, I think it's wrong that they do not take into consideration the fact that a lot of students are now choosing or have no choice, but to stay on in sixth form at the the age of 19, therefore they are still in full time education, yet they are still expected to pay for their medication. I think this is something that should be looked at.

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michaelparsons said on 27 May 2014

well said Kiikii!!.............my point was more concerned with the fact that I get EVERYTHING free which I consider to be wrong. it's been tossed by the DoH incidentally.

I agree with all you've said, particularly the last sentence......

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Kiikii1234 said on 20 May 2014

Wow, all the people complaining that they can't afford their prescriptions because they have to get several every month for an ongoing condition really need to do their research. Every month I am prescribed citalopram, naproxen, co-codamol and tramadol. On top of that I am then prescribed mebevrine, fybogel and lactulose every month to combat the effects of the painkillers I have to take. All of these meds are long term and I have been taking most for at least 2 years with no chance of stopping in the near future. If I then get ill in any given month and need other meds they will come on a prescription too. Rather than complain about how much it costs I got myself a 12 month pre payment certificate so I don't have to pay for any of these prescriptions when I get them. This costs me £10 a month paid by direct debit which is only a fraction more than one prescription. Surely instead of moaning about how much all your prescriptions cost just get a PPC and get on with it, and if £10 a month isn't affordable to you then you probably qualify for exemption due to low income anyway. Do your research!!! We are lucky to have the NHS and they are trying to help, I for one appreciate that I get £50+ worth of prescriptions for a tenner thanks to the PPC which is not something they have to offer!

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lrn1992xo said on 05 May 2014

In June 2013, I was detained under the Mental Health Act and given the choice of being kept on a mental health ward until I was diagnosed or going on medication pending a diagnosis. I still have not seen a specialist (so I still have not been diagnosed) and I am now completely reliant upon my medication. However, because me and my partner have moved in together, I am now deemed to be "over the threshold". My partner is self-employed and can earn less than £100 some months. I can't afford my medication now, but I also cannot come off them. Thanks for making my life that little bit harder, NHS!

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anthony11 said on 04 May 2014

Didntt no about ppc prescriptions woud lhave saved me money as in the past ten weeks had about 12items diazepan diclofenac iburofen co codamal amphitheatre dioctyl anti gastro tablets

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robo14 said on 24 April 2014

16-18 full time education free prescriptions
over 18 in full time education with no income trying to get education and not just sighning on the dole have to pay why is this then if you are in education and not scronging off the goverment well its tuff just dont get ill

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michaelparsons said on 09 April 2014

you know it's not really rocket science.... I have epilepsy which means I get free prescriptions for anything because I have the right condition to qualify.

my point for a long time has been that I shouldn't get prescription lines free for any illness that doesn't use the pills I'm on. It would save the NHS a load of money (£7.50 a line?).....anyhow I've been writing to anyone who will listen but sadly no MPs appear to want to discuss it!!!!

And to boot I'm a smoker which means I get chest infections a lot. It smacks of double standards to be honest, which is why I'm trying to rustle up support to get things changed

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Crushedblue said on 27 March 2014

I do not understand how contraceptive pills can be free, yet HRT has to be paid for!

I am also in the situation where I had premature ovarian failure in my early 20's. So to add to the distress of not being able to have children, I also have to suffer the effects of menopause or pay a double charge prescription for around 30 years. This is not a choice as it would be with contraception so why the difference? I also have asthma and chronic daily migraines that can last for several weeks at a time so all the meds add up to a lot.

I am sure no one wants to have illnesses that require prescriptions but surely those used for a lifestyle choice should be paid for - not the other way around!

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User854893 said on 23 March 2014

i have been asthmatic all my life and paid for my own prescriptions all this time, why do only certain groups get free prescriptions?

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Emms8782 said on 11 March 2014

I would happily pay for my contraceptive pills if it meant my fiancée did not have to pay for his inhalers for his lifelong, incurable asthma, or the tablets and injections for his chronic migraines or the antidepressants prescribed as a result of the chronic migraines. After all, it's my choice to be on the pill it's not his choice to have these conditions.

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ChangiSamson said on 24 February 2014

cd1985 - 04 February 2014

cd1985: You seem to have asked for the wrong thing when you asked the pharmacist for an "Exemption Certificate". An Exemption Certificate" only applies if you have certain specific medical conditions; and your conditions do not qualify (as the pharmacist said). You should have asked for an "HC1 CLAIM FORM" which allows you to claim for free prescriptions on the grounds of low income (L.I.S. - Low Income Scheme).

Open the "I am on a low income, how can I get help with NHS charges?" tab above by clicking on "show", then click on "NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)" at the bottom of the article; you will find all the information you need. You can also download the HC1 form by putting "HC1 download" into a search engine; several sites offering the download will appear.

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Onetwotree said on 24 February 2014

For those complaining about the costs of prescriptions - ask your pharmacist the actual cost of the drug you have been prescribed - in many cases, you would be mortified and shamed into silence. Yes, there are occasions when the prescription charge will outweigh the price of the drug but more often, especially with newer and long term treatments, it is the other way around. You cry out for a shake up of the system, the only other way is either private prescriptions, which is more expensive or to pay for the drug itself where you may pay less or you may pay an astronomical price - or go without treatment at all...

For all those moaning that they can't afford HRT, stockings, antidepressants etc... Purchase a pre-payment certificate or apply for an HC2.

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laurenfrom6277 said on 11 February 2014

I am 22 with premature ovarian failure and have to take HRT to prevent osteoporosis. The prescription is £15+ due to it being oestrogen and progesterone. I had to ask my dad to pay for my prescriptions as I could not get help when I was at University nor on Job Seeker's allowance. Luckily I am employed now, but I also have to pay for Citalopram for severe depression, (a lovely side effect on being told I am infertile at a young age) so a number of times, my prescription has been over £23. I am on minimum wage and it grieves me to spend this much on medication that improves my quality of life and prevents further complications. I will be on HRT until I reach "normal" menopausal age, so 20 years of hormones.... you do the maths. I understand that the NHS is stretched, but something has to be done to help people with long term, chronic health problems.

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fostermum1jackie said on 07 February 2014

my son Is 19 yrs old and attends a special school it is fulltime education he doesn't claim any benefits, as I still ge child benefitfor him, is he entitled to free presciptions?.

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cd1985 said on 04 February 2014

I have been off work for 3 months with severe depression and anxiety. I also suffer with hypermobility syndrome. The amount I receive in SSP is barely enough to cover my rent and bills. My doctor told me to ask the pharmacist about an exemption certificate for prescription costs but when I did I was told I didn't qualify. I can't afford antidepressants, nor can I afford the medication to treat my chronic back pain & muscle spasms. I've been waiting to see a counsellor for 2 1/2 months, with no appointment as yet in sight. How am I supposed to get better if I can't afford my medication?

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AnaPaula said on 27 January 2014

I have fibromyalgia, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The amount spent in ointments and creams to soften the psoríese is very expensive, more medicines.
This problem is for all life.
I am divorced.
How is it possible I don´t have free prescription ?

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Arsenalalice said on 23 January 2014

Some medicines have more than one active ingredient or more than one medicine per box - as is the case for many HRT medications - these are then classed as two separate medicines in one box, therefore you pay twice. Hosiery on an NHS prescription is charged 'per leg' and as such if you had two stockings (ie, one pair) you would pay £7.85 for the right leg, and £7.85 for the left. Another example of a double charge item - Canesten Combi - this is one box, but contains a pessary and a cream, and is therefore two items within one box. On the other hand - if prescribed the same medicine in various strengths but same form, then the patient only pays for one (ie, warfarin tablets 3mg and warfarin tablets 5mg would be one fee).

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gheathcote588 said on 22 January 2014

about prescription charges, the £7.85 cost is for single items (or so I thought). My wifes just been to collect some hrt tablets to be told you have to pay double as the box contains 2 different colour pills. According to the chemist some "single items" can be classified as 4 items!
£15.70 per pair of elastic hosiery is the only clue they seem to give...guess its a pair of stockings for twice the price.
Nobody make surgical tights?
The current system is wide open to abuse thank god m&m's don't use this charging method

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gheathcote588 said on 22 January 2014

about prescription charges, the £7.85 cost is for single items (or so I thought). My wifes just been to collect some hrt tablets to be told you have to pay double as the box contains 2 different colour pills. According to the chemist some "single items" can be classified as 4 items!
£15.70 per pair of elastic hosiery is the only clue they seem to give...guess its a pair of stockings for twice the price.
Nobody make surgical tights?
The current system is wide open to abuse thank goodness m&m's don't use this charging method

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Arsenalalice said on 22 January 2014

I notice there are a few comments regarding doctors not being able to prescribe their children Capol. This is because the brand has been 'blacklisted' by the government meaning that they are not allowed to write a prescription for Calpol, but only for paracetamol suspension. Items are often blacklisted when there are seen to be plentiful alternatives to one particular brand. A pharmacy may still be able to supply Calpol against a prescription for paracetamol, but the likelihood of the government reimbursing them for supplying that brand is not guaranteed - therefore you may have to accept alternative makes to Calpol which are the same thing but may have different name / flavour etc. Pharmacies used to have what was known as 'minor ailments schemes' where the pharmacist could supply common items (indeed such as Calpol) which was a system designed to free up valuable doctors appointments for common symptoms such as colds.

Pre-payment certificates are very good value for people that can't afford to pay for all their medications but are still working / above the threshold for help with health costs. It is worth noting that, although the current prescription charge seems high, the actual cost of the drugs is often higher than the tax charged. In some areas there are plans to label up the actual price of the medication to raise awareness in patients that bemoan having to pay what is often a fraction of the cost of the drug.

On the other hand, a shake up of the system may not be a bad thing. Look at the medical exemptions and whether it would be better if every person paid something (ie, every person - young, old, diabetic) pays a minimum fee, perhaps £1. The NHS is not a bottomless pit, sadly...

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gallowglass said on 19 January 2014

I think it is very difficult for people on borderline incomes, just above the free prescriptions threshold, especially those who have several complaints.

I was working part time and then had to take full-time job, despite not really being well enough to do so. I lost some income due to tax credits ending. So I am not well but having to work full time. I have IBS, trigeminal neuralgia, ME and an enhanced sensitive to pain (all properly diagnosed), and clinical depression (coping with constant pain and exhaustion is not easy). I take Gabapentin and occasionally co-codamol for the headaches and nerve pain, Spasmonal for the IBS and I have bad bouts of that at times when working, Lanzaprazole for reflux and paracetemol because I'm nearly always in pain and unwell.

I've never had any help with these conditions, no DLA or anything like that. I've just had to struggle on. Now I'm working full time and on a low income, I find I have to pay for several prescriptions a month too. Life just gets harder, especially for people with multiple health issues.

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fidget1 said on 13 January 2014

Hi,
Just wondered why people with Pernicious Anaemia do not get medical exemption certificates. I have to have injections for the rest of my life for this + I have to have 4 other medications which I can no longer afford, applied for a HC1 but I get £3 to much a week.
Thanks

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mkinsey said on 05 January 2014

I'm also confused why it says above that if you get medicines from a walk in centre, it's free. I've been given scripts before by walk in centres and I've had to pay for them as usual at a chemist!

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mkinsey said on 05 January 2014

I don't understand how the rest of the UK get free prescriptions yet us in England have to pay for ours.

I take lansaprozole daily for stomach issues as well as painkillers for trapped nerves in my neck, which is causing problems with my arms, and also require hydrocortisone cream for the pompholyx eczema which I suffer with on my hands and feet.

On my most recent visit to the docs, I had a boil on my scalp which had been there 8 weeks (I've now had it 10 weeks), was still weeping and an open wound. I'd followed instructions from NHS to bathe using hot compresses etc but it still wasn't healing. Doc decided I needed antibiotics. So I left the surgery with 3 scripts, and have had to order my lansaprazole now as now running low. At the time, I could only afford 2 scripts, so had to decide which one I needed less. I got the antibiotics and hydrocortisone, and didn't get the script for the painkillers. The boil has nearly gone, and my eczema is getting a bit better, but I'm in agony with my arm and neck and 'normal' painkillers won't touch it (paracetamol) and codiene makes me vomit. I can't take ibroprofen due to stomach problems. I can't afford any more until payday 22/1/2014.

My husband is type one diabetic so gets free scripts and my little boy is 4 so he gets his free, so only me who pays. It's a disgrace - they want the us to the the UK ie 'United Kingdom' yet they split us down the middle!

Re the comment of free scripts for calpol - have you asked at your local chemist? Our docs don't administer scripts for calpol but the chemists do. We just go in and ask for a script for paracetamol. You just have to advise what is wrong. My son hurt his foot, and required painkillers but I just asked at the chemist and got 2 bottles of paracetamol suspension for free. They just asked what was wrong with him. x

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LittleCli said on 05 January 2014

I totally agree the criteria for eligibility for Free Prescriptions should be revised to include all conditions which are 'for life' and require regular medication to control/manage.
However for those who require more than 2 prescriptions a month you should definitely buy a PrePaid Prescription Cert which cost £29 odd for 3 months and just over £100 for 12 months and you do not have to pay for every single prescription then. For me I have a number of chronic conditions I require medication for and this saves me an absolute fortune.
Of course we also need to start an online petition to David Cameron for those of you with lifetime illnesses too, meanwhile these certs are a God send.

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Adella28 said on 03 December 2013

Thank you JuePoo1 for mentioning the transplant patients who don't get free prescriptions. I had a kidney transplant and I'm on anti-rejection medication for life, I take 600 tablets a month as I have other incurable conditions. I cannot afford my medication, if I can't take my medication for financial reasons and my kidney fails as a result, is that what the government really wants? What am I supposed to do? It is really unfair and something has to be done about it, maybe a petition to the government?

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alison_1981 said on 03 December 2013

I have free prescriptions due to me having hypothyroidism. Although I am pleased I have the exemption, I do think the list needs to be revised. Anyone with a medical condition that is going to be life long should get exemption in my opinion. The prescription costs are far too much.

We should all write to David Cameron et al but we probably won't be listened to.

If the government can't change the exemption list, surely they could reduce the price of prescriptions to say £3 for the lot?

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daznmandp said on 23 October 2013

my partner took my 8yr old to doctors yesterday. he asked the doctor if we could av some calpol as we had run out. she said she couldnt do a prescription for calpol or she would get her hand slapped and that he had to go to the chemist to buy it. i am sorry but i thought childen under 16 got free prescriptions or am i wrong?? im disgusted as they get enough out of me and my partner has we have to pay. we are not on benefits so we do get them free and im always getting a prescription for myself at least once a month. some months 2 or 3 times. luckily my partner is rarely ill. just think it it so wrong when she is only 8yrs old im horrified really, needless to say he went to chemist and got her the calpol and paid for it, i on the other hand would have had words with doctor and discussed why calpol can no longer be given on prescription. im sorry to say this but this country is going downhill and fast.

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JuePoo1 said on 20 October 2013

Why oh why is it that people who have had a Transplant of any kind and need medication for life (anti-rejection medication), that they don't receive any help with prescriptions? I don't understand how we are any different from say someone who is diabetic? If I don't take my medication everyday my kidney would fail and I could possibly die. Very unfair system I feel. Have thought about writing to my MP about this, but would it make any difference? I doubt it!!!

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jwc1976 said on 04 October 2013

my story, after suffering from persistent bowel problems and spending the last 7 years being passed from pillar to post ( well done Tameside and Glossop NHS trust) I have finally had a diagnosis and it turns out I have ulcerative colitis. I was prescribed some steroid enemas(£15.60) and basically told to go away and see what happens. I have since done a lot of research into my condition and it turns out it is a chronic, life long condition without a cure, meaning I will no doubt be on medication for the rest of my life. now, my point is, I work 60 hours a week, just to keep my family afloat, I barely see my son, I pay my bills, taxes, NI and all that goes with it. I will be paying for my meds for the rest of my life! I could take the easy way out and sit on my arse and let everybody else pay for my meds, rent and bills, but I thought that was the reason I was paying national insurance and income tax! i want to work!

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bethcrow said on 27 September 2013

I have fibromyalgia,IBS,and suffer with multiple adhesions causing constant pain. I work part-time because I couldnt work anymore hours due to extreme tiredness. Im constantly on strong pain-killers, colon cleanses, tablets for over active bladder and muscle relaxants. I too believe that with all these problems, I should be-able to get free prescriptions as there all incurable conditions I have to live with.

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Mesalazine said on 13 September 2013

I'd just like to add my voice to the argument for free prescriptions for lifelong health conditions. I am another ulcerative colitis sufferer with the usual ups and downs of the disease. In a good month I just need one prescription; in a bad month it takes more. It's quite demoralising not to be eligible for low-income assistance, even when everything earned from work goes to other very necessary expenses (paying back student loans, childcare...)

I try to keep a balanced perspective. Ulcerative colitis is not the worst disease in the world. If I lived in the United States I might pay hundreds of dollars a month just for maintenance medications. But it could be better too. I just came back from two years in Japan, where ulcerative colitis treatment costs were fully covered.

As mentioned in other comments here, it's frustrating to know that you will be paying for prescriptions for life, even when you follow every directive your doctor gives and do everything you can to take care of yourself. The curse of anyone with a chronic illness, I suppose.

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Huddersfield 3d said on 06 September 2013

How do I know Pharmacist not only takes my prescription fee but also claiming from goverment. Do you think we should have a better method for preventing of abusing system.

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Tspoon1980 said on 24 July 2013

Totally agree with comments on here. Anyone suffering with long term/incurable conditions should be entitled to free prescriptions. I am asthmatic and also have a condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 which has left me in agony most days with my hands. They're trying out various medications to help with the pain and this has become very expensive. In the past, I've had to ration inhalers because I couldn't afford to get another one. If I just sat on my backside at home and didn't work, I'd get them free. Totally, utterly wrong. I feel like I'm being penalised for working. Any long term condition should entitle us to free prescriptions!

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DAVID LITTLE said on 12 July 2013

Can you answer me one thing, I am a asthma suffer from birth and was always told that the tablets & inhalers where my life savers.
But I get very angry when I have to the pay for my inhalers
And people with heart and diabetic don’t pay for the medication but I do. Can you explain why when I have to take the inhaler to work or even be able to breath would love to know why please return any message, thank you.

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Jet54 said on 28 May 2013

My wife has just had major surgery and having got home wound is open and leaking, just been told by district nurse wound dressings are prescription items and we will have to pay for them! Unbelievable, if she had stayed in hospital she wouldn't have to pay for them, but it would cost me a small fortune in car parking fees, minimum £2.50 per visit ie min £5 per day! Why are we penalised in the UK for living in England? I used to be proud to be English and part of UK but not anymore. I am delighted my two sons have taken the opportunity to live abroad.

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ccsm said on 21 May 2013

i dont have a problem paying for antibiotics or other one off treatments however i have eczema and the number of creams i frequently require is expensive especially as i am a student with most of my income becoming outgoings on my rent

i dont agree with people who have a long term or incurable condition haviing to pay

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may333 said on 26 February 2013

Did you know that people with CYSTIC FIBROSIS can not get free prescriptions they can have up to 10 medications a day. It is a lifelong terminal condition.

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redbedhead said on 20 December 2012

I was told I could not have full help with health costs because I earn over £56 weekly, and they see it that I actually spend none of it because I do not have a formal tenancy with my dad (who i still have to live with because i live too close to my uni to be considered for halls) and apparently don't eat or have to pay for travel. In real life, after my travel costs, food and bits i need for my course, I only have £28 a month spare for my prescriptions (£23 monthly), dental work and eye care. They will only help me with eye care and dentist if it goes above £200.

Thanks a bunch NHS. Apparently if you want to work and support yourself , but need a little bit of help, you get nothing all.

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reeb1975 said on 23 November 2012

I have had similar problems finding out if I qualify for free medication for my disability (I don’t) and found the following:

The only disabilities that entitle you to apply for an exemption certificate are:
*A permanent fistula (for example caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
*A form of hypoadrenalism (for example Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
*Diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
*Diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
*Hypoparathyroidism
*Myasthenia gravis
*Myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
*Epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
*A continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months

People undergoing treatment for cancer can also apply including the effects of cancer; or the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
This info is from: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1126.aspx

The only benefits that automatically qualify you for free prescriptions are:
INCOME BASED Job Seekers Allowance, Income related Employment Support Allowance and Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.

If you receive any other benefit you do not qualify for free prescriptions automatically but may qualify depending on the other benefits you receive. Incapacity Benefit and DLA do not qualify you to free prescriptions as they are not means tested. You can request form HC1 from your local Jobcentre Plus to be assessed on a case by basis and if successful you will receive an exemption certificate.
This info is from: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/1976.aspx

I hope this helps.

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Jorow said on 22 November 2012

I agree with others, the NHS really need to sort out who should be entitled to free prescriptions. As a colitis sufferer, I need medication minimum x3 a day and sometimes I have to get a different one because they're all trial and error until I find one that works, along with asthma, getting 2 new inhalers and sometimes higher dosage iron tablets for the colitis. Being 19 in full time education, I'm HOPING to get the Low income certificate sorted out asap for now (even though I can't even temporarily afford outstanding prescriptions to collect that I need for everyday life!!)...and I can't even start to imagine how hard it must be for others who need the same amount - plus! Personally I believe that you should get prescriptions free if you have a medical condition that is incurable and in my OPINION, conditions that are usually not self inflicted (e.g. liver disease from alcoholics that have refused the offered help - just because I know far too many people that rely on the free NHS treatment rather than help to stop, THAT money could be spent on the people who really need it.)

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gayle gamble said on 27 October 2012

my son is 22 & has had UC for a couple of years so is on tablets for life. as a result of this he has now been diagnosed with DVT which we believe is connected & is causing him severe discomfort & again is now on
medication for some considerable time & again maybe for life? also regular blood tests at a hospital which is not near by so has to get a taxi cause he cant walk. he doesn't earn very much & is finding it hard to manage in fact he has missed some prescriptions due to lack of money can the doctors prescribe more tablets then a month at a time to cut down costs? and why isn't it free for
people who are on the sick [he is off at the moment] because he has a manual job with lots of walking the doctor has given him a sick note for 4 weeks but he
still has to pay? can he claim this money back from some where as 2 lots of the medication at different strengths are now no good as they don't agree with him can we get his money back or an exchange of medication strength ?

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gayle gamble said on 27 October 2012

my son is 22 & has had UC for a couple of years so is on tablets for life. as a result of this he has now been diagnosed with DVT which we belive is connected & is causing him severe discomfort & again is now on medication for some considerable time & again maybe for life? also regular blood tests at a hospital which is not near by so has to get a taxi cause he cant walk. he doesn't earn very much & is finding it hard to manage in fact he has missed some prescriptions due to lack of money can the doctors prescribe more tablets then a month at a time to cut down costs? and why isn't it free for people who are on the sick [he is off at the moment] because he has a manual job with lots of walking the doctor has given him a sick note for 4 weeks but he still has to pay? can he claim this money back from some where as 2 lots of the medication at different strengths are now no good as they don't agree with him

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CharliiM193 said on 16 September 2012

I am under diagnosis for Epilepsy and Basilar Artery Migraine and have been put on a long term course of Topiramate(anti epileptic) I was wondering if I could get some sort of exemption so I didn't have to pay for my prescriptions each month, I am taking 4 tablets a day so I am getting through them quickly and paying for them is becoming expensive. Many thanks in advance! :)

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biffy01 said on 09 September 2012

My husband has had ulcerative colitis for 22yrs, he has to take 3 sometimes 4 different types of medication a day, we are a hard working family and brought up 3 children, my husband has struggled to carry on working,while having bad flareups, we get no benefits so are paying for all medication, which he has to take for the rest of his life.
Why should patients with other lifelong illnessess get it free.
We think all patients with lifelong conditions should get their medicine free, but if they get an unconected problem which needs treatmnt then that should be paid for like the rest of us.Also why are Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales getting all medicines free, we thought we are a united kingdom.

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User706776 said on 22 August 2012

I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 1997, I have been on medication ever since. My business closed in 2008 and had free prescriptions as I was on a low income. I now have a better job and only just over the threshold for free prescriptions, I now have to pay £7.65 every month for my medication that I need to take for the rest of my life.

Do you think people with long term conditions should be entitled to free prescriptions?

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LizzyB1 said on 02 August 2012

I really think the exemption list needs updating. My husband was diagnosed with AF and mitral valve disease in February this year and was started on Warfarin and Beta Blockers, so 2 items every month. On his recent check up, although the Beta Blocker has worked to cardiovert his heart and he is now in sinus rythmn he will have to remain on both the warfarin and the beta blockers for life to prevent a stroke. How can this not be classed as a disease that does not warrant free prescriptions - not a lot you can do without your ticker is there! The NHS really do need to update things here for the benefit of patients on lifelong drugs.

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katie watts said on 27 July 2012

user199133 i totally agree i am also asthmatic and dont teceive free prescriptions. i was born with it not my fault.yet a friend who has type2 diabetes which if he was to lose weight he would no longer have and he gets free prescriptions. i think something needs to be looked at here. if i have no money to buy my inhaler i have to go to hospital to go on a nebuliser which the bed im in could be used for someone who really needs it and im sure it would be cheaper to just give me an inhaler the nhs need to look at the logic and see who actually needs free prescriptions. Perhaps they could stop giving away free methodrone to the heroine addicts as it was there choicrs that led them there and give it to people who dont have a choice and never has

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User199133 said on 25 July 2012

Why don't I (and millions of others) get free Asthma medicine? It is potentially a life saving medicine to sufferers. Yet a friend of mine gets all prescriptions free, including cartridges for an inhaler to quit smoking, because he has a thyroid problem.

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Ladywriterwriter said on 19 May 2012

Advice to anyone above who is asking questions if they can get theirs from free or not. See above where it says in bold.

What is available for free? show
Who is entitled to free prescriptions? show
Exemption for pregnant women show
Exemption for people with a specified medical condition show
Exemption for cancer patients show
Exemption for renal dialysis patients show
I am on a low income, how can I get help with NHS charges? show
How can I claim a refund?

Ok that list is a + show next to it, if you click on there, it will show the the list of things that are free.

Hope that helps.

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Ladywriterwriter said on 19 May 2012

I was first diagnosed with hypertension, which without meds can get stroke or heart attack,. I had to pay for them then, then when I was diagnosed with thyroid, I was told from now on will get all meds free. Which is good for me, as it would cost me a fortune and I dont think I could afford them all, as also on Statins, D's and iron tabs etc. But I do agree that the list on the cert for exemption is not enough to be honest, there is only a few on there. I mean ok, thyroid prob is very serious, but then again so is heart problems or hypertension, high blood pressure. Along with a lot of other conditions as well. My husband has the other day been diagnosed with thyroid now as well. I would not have known they were free unless the doctor had of told me really.

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Sarah Burke said on 19 February 2012

I've just had a splenectomy and will be on penicillin for the rest of my life, do you know if I will be able to have free prescriptions for this?

Thanks

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mellemon said on 05 February 2012

hi i am on warfin for the rest of my life will i be able to get them free if i am on these long term

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cherylviv said on 17 November 2011

Hiya, my husband get free prescription for his diebtis & blood pressure. We're looking to move abroad and have been told we can transfer his free prescription within Europe and the cannaries. Is this true? if so does anyone know how we do it. Thank you :0)

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NathanielSivewright said on 09 November 2011

I posted a comment but it has not appeared. Do they need to be reviewed?

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damaze said on 19 October 2011

I lost my wallet which contained both my NHS Card, and my NHS Pre Paid Certificate Card.
Can someone tell me how do I go about having them replaced.
Thanking you in anticipation.

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Confuzzled said on 20 September 2011

I was diagnosed with HIV two years ago and have been paying for prescriptions up to £40 a time on occasions. However the other day I was told by the doctor at a Walkin centre that I did not need to pay as I was medically exempt. I collect the prescription and the pharamacist asked why I was exempt I explained what the doctor said and they gave me my medication that I needed. Yet after reading this it appears I should have paid. What do I do now as I do not want to get in trouble for falsely claiming even tho I was told by a doctor I didn't need to pay?!?

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User583065 said on 14 August 2011

This is a genuine error and did not know that I was not exempt for treatment. When I was single yes I received a card, but thought they stopped doing them when my partner moved in. I work part time and still thought I was entitled to free eye and dental. Found out recently that I'm not. I would not intentionally fraud anyone as I like to earn my way in life and not live on benefits unlike some. I have not received anything relating to this matter. I'm so worried that I'll get into trouble. I've not got a criminal record and don't want one now. I am prepared to pay back costs. Please tell me what will happen or what I should do??

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TimFromLA said on 22 July 2011

You're all lucky. I don't have insurance at all! I live in the United States, and the Republicans call it socialized medicine (yeah and?) And then the teabaggers don't like the word socialism and are voicing their disgust. I wish I could immigrate to even Canada

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Aurora7 said on 14 July 2011

You should all count yourself lucky, your health care system is a wonder compared to ours in Canada-people here pay extreme prices for prescriptions (unless they are lucky enough to have private health insurance) and dentistry is a luxury that most of us cannot afford. I miss the NHS :(

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pharmacyian said on 28 June 2011

The exemption rules were decided in the 1960s would you believe!!! and no government has changed them since. New Lab looked at it, and backed off, as it is such a minefield.
Everyone thinks they are a special case! The best thing to do is buy a pre-payment certificate, these cost £104 at the moment, which compared to £7.40 for one item is a bargain. You can pay by DD at £10 a month.
If you only take one item, you could ask your GP if s/he will give you 2 or 3 months supply to help keep the cost to yourself down.
This decision is entirely up to the prescriber NOT based on the drug, its cost, or the condition being treated. The Dr can give you 7 days of a drug, or 7 months, it is totally up to her/him. Although to reduce waste of meds the NHS recommends a Dr gives only 1 month of meds at a time.
Regarding HRT, this is another minefield! And sometimes seems unfair. If there are 2 different pills in the box, eg a certain number with just oestrogen, and also some with a combination of oestrogen/progesterone this is counted as 2 drugs and hence 2 charges. This applies even if the Dr only gives you a month of tabs to try.
The good thing is, once you have found an HRT product that suits you, a nice GP will usually give you 3 or 6 months supply, also for just 2 charges.
Ask your pharmacist. A good one will explain it to you. If they can't/won't find a new one!
Pharmacists have a 4 year degree and a post-grad training year. They will also have 3 or 4 A levels. Highly trained and under-used and under-valued!
Pharmacists know as much, if not more about medicines and minor ailments and OTC meds than your GP.
Ask your pharmacist!

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Lennyshez said on 15 June 2011

With regards to exemption certificates I agree that all the listed conditions such as diabetes and epliepsy etc should be exempt from paying charges. However I suffer with a heart condition (I am currently waiting to have a heart valve replacement) and I need to take medication each day and for the rest of my life and I am only 20 years old yet I have to pay for my prescription. I think this is totally wrong to have to pay for drugs to keep my heart working in order to keep me alive and don't see what difference my condition is to the conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy. I know you can die from both these conditions also but after all it is your heart working that keeps you alive so am totally confused where some of the decisions come from.

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moi7 said on 11 June 2011

Hi, wonder if anyone could throw some light on this for me......I currently receive free prescriptions for Thyroxine, but I have recently started on HRT, firstly, do I have to pay for HRT even though I am already receiving other free hormone replacement drugs??? (a collegue says I don't have to), if so,....secondly, is it correct that because there are 2 types of tablet |("IN THE SAME BOX, WITH THE SAME NAME"), I have to pay 2 seperate charges!!!, I did receive 3 months supply, but I still think that is wrong to charge for the same boxed drug....thanx x

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pgdliverpool said on 11 May 2011

My wife and i are going for I.V.F and there are a few drug the hospital will give us for the build up however these are in prescription form and will need to be purchased by us in the lead up to the treatment i was wondering if these pre and during I.V.F drugs are valid to collect with a pre-prescription payment card in my wifes name?
thanx pete

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pharmacyian said on 09 April 2011

The advice given below is wrong, the number of days treatment is decided by your Dr. NOT by what the medication is, as has been listed below.

Also Champix starter pack may have 2 strengths in the box, but is classed as a single charge to the patient but 2 fees to the pharmacist.

If you have a question, go ask a pharmacist!!!! Don't post it on here to receive the wrong answer from an unqualified person!

The person who answered about CanestenCombi, was correct!

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Dlt_debz said on 06 April 2011

in responce to sarah's post on 21/03/11 and sanna's post on 24/03/11 my understanding is (as someone who regularly gets prescribed multiple boxes of the same medication) unless each box is listed seperately on the prescription then you should only be paying as if it is one item, the 2 medications i currently have on prescription get given to me 2 boxes at a time and I only have to pay the minimum of what is now £7.40 for each type of medication

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Dlt_debz said on 06 April 2011

in response to kim (comment made 01/11/10) and nicky (comment made) 20/01/11), it actually depends on what the medication is as to the quantity of tablets prescribed. I suffer from an under active thyroid and my thyroxine prescription is for 48 days of tablets (1 a day), I am also taking the contraceptive pill and get 6 months supply (1 tablet a day for 3 weeks out of every 4 weeks), my partner however is on anti-depresants (1 a day), 2 types of blood pressure medication (1 of each a day) and prescribed antihistamins (2 tablets a day) and is only allowed 30 days worth of each at a time

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ben10scotland said on 02 April 2011

16 year olds wont have to pay prescription charges if they are in full time education

[16-18 year olds], on the Scottish prescription forms [GP(10)] this was option B, not sure what it would be on the equivalent form in England

If you are on more than one medicine in England, a community pharmacist should be able to discuss your medication with you and identify any he or she feels you may not need and make sure you are getting the most from them. It is called a MUR, Medicines Use Review - the same service isn't available outside England [from what I understand]

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ben10scotland said on 02 April 2011

Dont get any prescription items online [not in the UK and be very cautious elsewhere] - simple answer.

Your doctor should happily prescribe Champix provided it is suitable for you and the most appropriate option to help you stop smoking. Sometimes medicines online [possibly quite often] contain another medicine to the one that it is labelled as, it may contain no active ingredient or something dangerous and be mixed with compounds such as brick dust. Many medicines sold online are not what the company claims what they are [similar to street drugs being 'cut' withsubstances such as brick dust and flour] - in short if you buy from unregulated suppliers it could kill you

- one reason why prescription charges are dangerous as they may cause consumers to look to unknowingly illicit sources for medicines.

longer answer is that there are some reputable people to buy medicines from on the internet and you can identify them by using certain logos - I don't know what the logos are, I have seen sites where people send in prescriptions written by a doctor or vet and they fulfill them following recieving a fax or so of the prescription. I cant vouch for how safe using these companies to dispense prescription drugs are.

Pharmacy's professional regulator the General Pharmaceutical Council www.pharmacyregulation.org should produce guidance. Most if not all prescription medicine need careful assessment of your symptoms and concurrent medical conditions to prevent them causing harm as well as a knowledge of any other medicines you are on to prevent interactions occurring

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cheryl123fun said on 29 March 2011

prescription charges stand at £7.20 and as the first of April they go up to £7.40. This is for each item on the prescription. If you have an item that is cheaper to buy then you are entitled to buy it from of off the shelf or over the counter.

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Sanna91 said on 24 March 2011

*Canestan Combi

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Sanna91 said on 24 March 2011

Sarah00,
No you haven't been conned! The pharmacist was right, it is cheaper to buy it without the prescription. Canestan Duo on prescription costs £14.40 (two £7.20 charges are taken as there are two different products in the one box). The same goes for Champix (pills to help smokers quit). There are two different strengths of the pill in Champix so two prescription charges are taken.
:)

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Sarah00 said on 21 March 2011

Am I right in thinking that the minimum charge with a prescription is £7.20? So if a medicine costs more without a prescription, then I will only pay the prescription charge of £7.20?

If this is the case then I have been wrongly advised by my pharmacist, who told me that my medicine was cheaper without a prescription and charged me £11.63. The medicine in question is the Canesten Combi Pessary and Cream. If this is true then I have been conned. Can anyone help?

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Sarah00 said on 21 March 2011

Am I right in thinking that with a prescription the maximum charge is £7.20, so if a medicine costs more without a prescription, I should only pay £7.20? If this is right then I have been overcharged by my pharmacist who wrongly advised me that this medicine was cheaper without a prescription. The medicine in question is the Canesten Combi Pessary with cream. Was I conned?

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User529728 said on 16 February 2011

Should I have been charged for 2 items when they were a pesary and cream which are used in conjunction with each other and were together in a sealed box? The label said "1 item" but the pharmacist charged me for 2.

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Muffy Brainchild said on 10 February 2011

My problem is the opposite of 'How can I claim a refund'!

I did not pay for a prescription for my sixteen year-old daughter because I thought that she was covered by our family credit exemption but I found out (a few days later - aaargh!) that I should've paid.

So now I have a cheque for £7.20 but can't find out who to send it to; I am particularly worried by the last paragraph on the back of the tear-off portion of prescription which warns about "penalty charges" and anyway I do not want something that I'm not entitled to.

I have rung various people (Doctors, pharmacy, local health care trust) and nobody can tell me where to send the money.

Help.

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Junieh said on 09 February 2011

I think that it is appalling and totally not cost effective to make those who suffer from mental illness pay for their essential prescriptions - these drugs have some pretty awful side effects and having to pay makes taking these drugs less apealing and less likely to be taken by those who are on low incomes but not eligible for Income Support and thus free prescriptions. It costs thousands of pounds a day to hospitalise or treat mental health sufferers in their own homes by Crisis Resolution/Assessment Teams so it would be much cheaper for the NHS/Government to pay for preventative medicines; so isn't it about time the Government included these poor souls in their prescriptions exemption scheme...

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Lilu said on 06 February 2011

Hello!
I'm thinking about moving in UK (after graduating), but there are some concerns with my treatment: I have still's disease(diagnosed in 2010, april, I'm 24 years old). I'm taking now: Methotrexate 15 mg per week; 8 mg Medrol (Methylprednisolonum) every day; and 20 mg Arava(Leflunomide) every other day. In my home (Latvia) first & third medicaments I receive for free as a eligible drugs, of course with presciptions. And how is in UK, about this question?Patients with the same disease must pay full price?
Best Regards!
Thanks!

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Nicky1179 said on 20 January 2011

With regards to comment made by Kim on the 01/11/10, it's not age specific with regards to prescriptions. I'm 32 and I have to get a new prescription every month for tablets I have to take for my asthma. It's just the way it works out.

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targaid said on 12 November 2010

Why are there no regular phone numbers or the option to e-mail or apply for forms directly through the site? Even printing them yourself? Most of these forms are for low-income families and you are making us pay a higher rate for calls. My tariff, for example, includes free calls to regular numbers, but charges higher than usual for calls to these sorts of lines.

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Kim Hinckley said on 01 November 2010

Why can i only get a prescription for 28 days! Do i really have to go back every month for a daily tablet i need for the rest of my life!
If i was 30 + i wouldn't have this problem!
Ageist!

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Prescriptions Team said on 22 September 2010

If you have queries about medical exemption certificates please phone the NHS BSA on 0845 601 8076.

If you have queries about prescription pre-payment certicates please phone the NHA BSA on 0845 850 0030.

For information and advice about help with health costs please phone the NHS BSA on 0845 850 1166.

To order a leaflet with additional information about help with health costs (the HC11 leaflet) or a leaflet on NHS charges and optical voucher values (the HC12 leaflet) please phone the NHS Forms Orderline 0845 610 1112.

To request an application form for the NHS Low Income Scheme (HC1 form) please phone the NHS Forms Orderline on 0845 610 1112.

To request a refund claim form phone the NHS Forms Orderline on 0845 610 1112 and ask for the optical, travel, or dental version of the HC5 form. If you require refund of prescription charges you must ask for form FP57 when you pay the prescription charge the form is not available afterwards.

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Krishna Rachakonda said on 21 September 2010

can some one advice me to have claim for help with health costs as i am a International Student studying my masters .

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T Frank said on 07 September 2010

Hi

My wife and I both have Presceiption Prepayment Certificates.
We have recently moved home, do we need to change our address or do we only do this when we renew the certs.

Frank

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lilly clark said on 02 September 2010

Have medical exemption cert. for thyroid treatment. Also have alopecia and now hospital informed me this does not include 2 wigs I am entitled to annually (having to pay £60 for each prescription). Is this true, as for the last 3 years the exemption cert. covered this cost?

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Nickster74 said on 28 August 2010

does anyone know how i can replace a medical exemption certificate, i think i lost mine during my move and my new pharmisist won't allow me free prescriptions without it. i only got a new one last year so it's not due for renewal for another four years.

any help appreciated, nickster.

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davidwright said on 27 August 2010

Can someone advise me where I can contact the NHS to advise of change of address as my Prescription Charge medical exemption is due for renewal and I'm afraid the letter will be sent to my old address.

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Page last reviewed: 04/03/2013

Next review due: 04/03/2015

Paying NHS charges

Read about rules on exceptions, claiming refunds and what happens if you caught claiming refunds dishonestly

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 and HC1 (SC) forms

For all other queries call 0300 330 1343

Pharmacy services

Find out what to expect from your local pharmacy, including services offered and questions you should ask about your medicines

Medicines out of hours

Find out how to access your medicines outside of usual opening hours

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics cannot treat colds, most coughs and sore throats. Get the facts about antibiotics and learn more about the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD)

Pharmacy services: New Medicine Service (NMS)

If you are prescribed a medicine to treat a long-term condition for the first time, you may be able to get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a new free scheme called the New Medicine Service (NMS).

Media last reviewed: 16/09/2013

Next review due: 16/09/2015

The placebo effect

Ben Goldacre explains what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry.

Media last reviewed: 02/10/2013

Next review due: 02/10/2015