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Pharmacy sales - NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)

The online service will be unavailable from 8am until 3pm on Sunday 19 June 2022

This is to allow us to carry out essential planned maintenance.

If you’re a pharmacy, you can register to sell PPCs and complete an online application for your patients.

Patients will get their PPC instantly by email if they provide an email address.

A PPC costs:

  • £30.25 for 3 months
  • £108.10 for 12 months

Register

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Pharmacy teams can follow the PPC process flowchart (PDF: 112KB) for guidance on selling a PPC.

Free NHS prescriptions 

Before buying a PPC, tell patients to check if they’re entitled to free NHS prescriptions by going to www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/check

PPC start date

Patients can choose the start date of their PPC. The start date cannot be more than one month earlier or one month later than the date they pay for their PPC.

If the patient does not specify a start date, enter the start date as the date they pay for their PPC.

Information for patients

Patients will get their PPC instantly by email if they provide an email address. Or they’ll get a paper certificate in the post within 10 working days.

Tell patients to check if their certificate is valid at www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption.

Patients may get an NHS prescription charge refund if:

  • they have an NHS refund form (FP57)
  • their certificate covers the date the prescription charge is paid

If your patient becomes entitled to free NHS prescriptions while their PPC is still valid they may be entitled to a refund. Download the HC11 leaflet (PDF: 115KB) for details of refund arrangements. To claim a refund, patients need to contact us.

For more information, tell patients to visit our website at www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/ppc.

Pharmacy sales advice

If you have a pharmacy sales query follow the PPC pharmacy sales support document (Word: 244KB)

How payments work

You do not send any payment to us. We deduct the total value of the PPC applications you enter for the month from your monthly payment. For example, the Schedule of Payments received at the end of November for the dispensing month of September will show the PPCs sold in October. The total value of your sales of both 3 and 12 month PPCs will be shown on the Schedule under the ‘Other’ section.

Make sure the ‘Date sold’ is accurately recorded. The amount deducted is based on the date sold not the PPC start date.

Dispensing prescriptions

Any time a patient makes a declaration that they are entitled to free NHS prescriptions, you must ask them to provide evidence as part of the terms of service.

If you do not see the evidence, cross the 'exemption not seen' box. Do not charge them.

Checks are made on free NHS prescriptions to prevent and detect fraud or error. PPC details are checked against NHS prescriptions. If a patient claims free treatment that they’re not entitled to, they could have to pay a penalty charge.

Change of ownership

In the event of the pharmacy changing ownership or closing, the pharmacist or owner must let us know so we can update our records.

All PPCs sold must be submitted using their ODS code. If the new owner wants to register to sell PPCs, they must register using their ODS code. Registration is not transferable, so no PPCs can be sold until the new pharmacy owner has registered.

Using the previous pharmacy’s login details to enter PPC applications will result in deductions from the wrong pharmacy payment.