Help with prescription charges

If you don't meet the medical exemption for prescription charges there are some additional cost saving measures available.

Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPCs)

PPCs are a method of saving money for people living in England if they need more than 12 prescribed medicines each year or more than three prescribed medicines in three months. The charge for a single prescribed medicine is currently £8.60, whereas a three-month PPC will currently cost you £29.10 and a 12-month PPC £104.00.

What will a PPC cover me for?

Your PPC will cover you for all of the NHS prescriptions you need during the period of your PPC, no matter how many you need.

How much can I save

None None

How do I apply for a PPC?

You can apply for a PPC online.

Learn more about the other ways you can apply.

Will my PPC start straight away?

Your PPC will start from the date they receive your application unless you ask for a different start date. This can be up to one month earlier or later than the date they receive it.

If you have to pay a prescription charge while you are waiting for your PPC, you may get a refund as long as you have an FP57 receipt and refund claim form and your PPC is valid on the date you pay. The pharmacist or dispensing doctor can only issue an FP57 at the time you pay the prescription charge - they cannot issue you one later. You can claim the prescription charge(s) back up to three months after paying. The FP57 tells you what to do - but remember the PPC itself can only be backdated by one month.

NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)

If you are on a low income you may be eligible to receive financial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme. The scheme covers:

  • Prescription costs
  • Dental costs
  • Eye care costs
  • Healthcare travel costs
  • Wigs and fabric supports
  • You can apply for the scheme as long as your savings, investments or property (not counting the place where you live) don't exceed the capital limit. In England, the limit is:

    - £23,250 for people who live permanently in a care home

    - £16,000 for everyone else

    Any help you're entitled to is also available to your partner and any dependent young people. For more information about requirements visit NHS: help with health costs.

    How do I apply for the LIS?

    To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete form HC1, which you can order online.

    Related information