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Help with NHS prescription costs

In England, most working-age adults have to pay prescription charges. Certain groups are entitled to free NHS prescriptions and some prescribed items are always free, including contraceptives and medication for hospital inpatients.

The NHS prescription charge is currently £9.35 (rising to £9.65 from 1 April) for each prescribed item, which means that there is a charge for each different drug or medical appliance on your prescription. Support stockings are charged per stocking.

If you regularly pay prescription charges, a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) could save you money.

NHS prescriptions in Scotland and Wales are free.


If you pay NHS prescription charges then find out that you’re entitled to free prescriptions or backdate a prescription prepayment certificate, you can only get a refund if you were given an FP57 refund receipt when you paid. You cannot get one later.

Take your FP57 refund receipt to any community pharmacy, with evidence that you were entitled to free NHS prescriptions when you paid. You must do this within three months of the date that you paid. The pharmacy will refund you.