A prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) lets you get as many NHS prescriptions as you need for a set price. If you regularly pay prescription charges, a PPC could save you money.
The current prescription charge in England is £8.60 per item. A PPC costs:
- £29.10 for 3 months
- £104 for 12 months
|Number of prescribed medicines you need each month||Saving with a 12 month PPC||Saving with a 3 month PPC|
|2||Over £100 a year||Over £20 in 3 months|
|3||Over £200 a year||Over £45 in 3 months|
|4||Over £300 a year||Over £70 in 3 months|
How to apply
There are 4 ways that you can apply for your PPC
The quickest way to buy a PPC is using our secure web application. You can pay by credit or debit card, or you can set up a Direct Debit if you’re applying for a 12 month certificate.
2. By post
To apply by post, complete the FP95 application form, available from pharmacies and doctors surgeries.
You can pay by cheque or postal order made payable to ‘NHS Business Services Authority’. Alternatively, you can set up a Direct Debit instruction if you’re applying for a 12 month certificate.
When you have completed and signed the form, send it to:
NHS Business Services Authority
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
We aim to process postal applications within 3 working days of receiving the form.
Your PPC will start from the date we receive your postal application unless you ask for a different start date. This can be up to one month earlier or later than the date we receive your postal application.
3. Over the phone
To apply for a PPC over the phone, call the PPC order line: 0300 330 1341
Please have your:
- debit or credit card details if you want to pay in full
- your bank or building society account details if you want to pay for a 12 month PPC by Direct Debit
Your PPC will start from the date we receive your phone call unless you ask for a different start date. This can be up to one month earlier or later than the date of your phone call.
4. From a pharmacy registered to sell PPCs
You will need to complete an FP95 application form (available from the pharmacy) and pay at the till.
The option to pay for a 12 month prepayment certificate by 10 monthly Direct Debit instalments is not available within pharmacies.
The pharmacy will forward your details to us and you will normally receive your PPC within 7 days of us receiving your application.
Your PPC will start from the date of purchase, unless you ask for a different start date. This can be up to one month earlier or later than the date you buy your PPC.
Pay by Direct Debit
The most convenient way to pay for a 12 month PPC is by Direct Debit.
This allows you to spread the cost by paying for your PPC in 10 monthly instalments. By using this option we can also normally automatically renew your PPC, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to renew your PPC.
If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, you are entering into a commitment to pay all of the instalments. If you use your PPC 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. You can’t choose the date that your first instalment will be collected, but your monthly payment date can be changed once the first instalment is paid.
Direct Debits that are returned as unpaid due to insufficient funds may be re-presented within 10 working days.
You should expect to receive your PPC within 10 working days after your first payment has been collected.
Before your PPC arrives
If you have applied for a PPC and pay prescription charges while waiting for it to arrive, you can get a refund as long as:
- you ask for an FP57 refund receipt when you pay (you can’t get one later)
- the start date of your PPC is the same or earlier than the date you pay for your prescription. PPCs can be backdated by up to one month.
You must claim your refund within three months of paying. The FP57 refund receipt tells you what to do.
Refunds for PPCs
If you buy a PPC and your circumstances change, you may be entitled to a refund.
|3 month PPC||12 month PPC|
|You become entitled to free prescriptions before your PPC starts||Full refund||Full refund|
|The PPC holder dies, or goes into hospital and dies there before the PPC expires||During month 1 – full refund||During month 1 – full refund|
|During month 2 – proportional refund||During months 2 to 11 – proportional refund|
|During month 3 – no refund||During month 12 – no refund|
|You become entitled to free prescriptions or go into hospital and stay there until your PPC expires||During month 1 – proportional refund||During months 1 to 11 – proportional refund|
|During month 2 or 3 – no refund||During month 12 – no refund|
If a PPC holder dies, any refund due will be paid to their estate.
If you lose or damage your certificate, we can send you a replacement. You will receive your replacement certificate within 10 working days.
Change of name or address
If your address changes, please contact us so we can update our records.
If your name changes, we will update your certificate. You will need to send us your existing certificate, plus one of the following:
- a copy of your marriage certificate
- a copy of your civil partnership certificate
- a copy of your deed poll
- a copy of your passport
- a copy of your Decree Absolute
Our address is:
NHS Business Services Authority
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne