Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs)







If you need more than 12 prescribed medicines each year, you could save money with a 12-month PPC.

You can also buy a three-month PPC, which will save you money if you need more than three prescribed medicines in three months.

The charge for a single prescribed medicine is £8.40, whereas a three-month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12-month PPC £104.00.

How much can I save?

Note: You must be resident in England to purchase a PPC from us. Some people can get free prescriptions on age, income or medical grounds. Check the other pages in the help with health costs area to see if you can get free prescriptions before buying a PPC. Your browser must support 128-bit encryption to buy a PPC using our online applications.

Direct Debit - the most convenient way to pay                  

The most convenient way to pay for a 12-month PPC is by Direct Debit, which allows you to spread the cost by paying for it in 10 monthly instalments. By using this option we can also normally automatically renew your PPC. You would not have to worry about forgetting to renew your PPC.

Note: If you pay using the Direct Debit instalment option you are entering into a commitment to pay all of the instalments. If you use the certificate after failing to pay an instalment you may face penalty charges.

Once your Direct Debit is set up, we will send you a letter showing the amount we will debit from your bank or building society account each month. We will then collect that amount without you having to do a thing. You cannot choose the date of the month that your first instalment will be collected, but the date of the month can be changed once the first instalment is paid. You should expect to receive your PPC within 10 working days after your first payment has been collected.

Direct Debits which are returned as unpaid due to insufficient funds may be re-presented within 10 working days.

What a PPC covers

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.

Before your PPC arrives

If you have applied for a PPC and have to pay a prescription charge while you are waiting for it to arrive, you can get a refund of the charge as long as:


  • you ask for an FP57 form from the pharmacist or dispensing doctor at the time you pay the charge (you must ask for the form at the time you pay the charge - you cannot be issued with one later), and
  • when you applied for your PPC, the date you asked for it to start is on or before the date you paid the charge. The PPC can only be backdated by up to one month.

You can claim the prescription charge(s) back up to three months after paying - the FP57 tells you what to do.


Prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) application process

Claiming refunds of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs)

Information for Pharmacies