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Save money with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)

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).

A PPC covers all your NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need.

A PPC does not cover the cost of other health items, such as wigs and fabric supports.


Prescription charges are for each item not for each prescription. For example, if your prescription has 3 medicines on it you will have to pay the prescription charge 3 times.

There are 3 PPC options:

  • a 3-month PPC costs £32.05 and will save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
  • a 12-month PPC costs £114.50 and will save you money if you need more than 11 prescribed items in a year
  • a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) PPC costs £19.80 and will save you money if you need more than 2 prescribed qualifying HRT items in a year

A PPC for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) covers an unlimited number of some HRT medicines for 12 months, including if they’re prescribed for something other than menopause symptoms. Find out more about the HRT PPC from the NHS Business Services Authority website.

How to apply for a PPC

Check if you can get free prescriptions before you apply for a PPC.

It's quickest to buy a PPC online. The PPC will start from the day you submit your application, unless you ask for a different start date. The start date must be within 1 month before or after the date of your application.

You can also apply using the PPC order line on 0300 330 1341. Your PPC will be valid from the day you make the phone call, unless you request otherwise.

Some pharmacies may be able to sell you a 3-month PPC or the HRT PPC, which will be valid from the day you purchase it.

Receiving your PPC

You can choose to:

  • receive your PPC details by email
  • receive the PPC details by post
  • print the PPC details at the end of your online application

A PPC is valid from the day you apply for it, but it may take a couple of days for the PPC details to arrive by post.

PPCs and refunds

You can apply for a refund if you have to pay for prescriptions while you're waiting for a new PPC. Ask the pharmacist for an NHS receipt (FP57) when you collect your prescription so you can claim back the cost.

You may be able to claim a full or partial refund for the cost of your PPC if you become entitled to free prescriptions while your certificate is still valid.

For full refund details, including the time limit for claiming, visit the information about PPCs on the NHS Business Services Authority website

Page last reviewed: 27 November 2023
Next review due: 27 November 2026