Prescription Fees

Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions

Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).

The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines.  Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.

NHS charges

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge. These charges are correct as of the 1st April 2018:

  • Prescription (per item): £9.00
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
  • 3-month PPC: £29.10

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.

How much you can save

Number of prescribed medicines you need each monthSaving with a 12 month PPCSaving with a 3 month PPC
2Over £105 a yearOver £20 in 3 months
3Over £210 a yearOver £50 in 3 months
4Over £315 a yearOver £75 in 3 months

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website