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 prescription charge in England is £8.80 per item.
A PPC costs:
- £29.10 for 3 months
- £104 for 12 months
The quickest way to buy a PPC is to buy it online.
How much you can save
|Number of prescribed medicines you need each month||Saving with a 12 month PPC||Saving with a 3 month PPC|
|2||More than £105 a year||More than £20 in 3 months|
|3||More than £210 a year||More than £50 in 3 months|
|4||More than £315 a year||More than £75 in 3 months|
Other ways to apply
In a pharmacy registered to sell PPCs online
You can receive a digital certificate if you provide an email address. You will receive your certificate straight away, instead of having to wait for it to arrive by post.
You won’t be able to pay for a 12-month PPC by Direct Debit.
Your PPC will start from the date of purchase, unless you ask for a different start date.
This can be up to one month before or after the date we receive your application.
You can download the list of pharmacies that sell PPCs (PDF: 289KB).
If you need support to buy a PPC, you can call us on: 0300 330 1341.
You'll need your:
- debit or credit card details if you want to pay in full
- bank or building society account details if you’re paying 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 before or after the date of your phone call.
How you can pay
You can pay for a PPC:
- by Direct Debit (online or by telephone)
- by card payment (online or by telephone)
- in full at a pharmacy
To pay by Direct Debit
You can only set up a Direct Debit for a 12 month PPC.
- spreading the cost by paying for your PPC in 10 monthly payments
- automatic renewal of your PPC
If a Direct Debit is set up, you should remember:
- you’re entering into a commitment to pay all of the payments
- you cannot choose the date we collect your first payment
- you can change your monthly payment date after we take your first payment
- where Direct Debit payments are ‘unpaid due to insufficient funds’, we may try to take payment again within 10 working days
We'll send you a letter showing the amount you'll pay each month.
Your PPC should arrive within 10 working days after we collect your first payment.
Refunds for prescription charges
If you’ve applied for a PPC and pay prescription charges while waiting for it to arrive, you can get a refund as long as:
- you get an NHS refund form (FP57) when you pay, as you can’t get one later
- the PPC covers the date you paid for your prescription
PPCs can be backdated by up to one month. You must claim your refund within 3 months of paying.
The refund form (FP57) tells you what to do.
Check if your certificate is still valid
You can check if your prescription prepayment certificate is still valid or will expire soon.
You should contact us if you need to replace your PPC, change your name or address, or claim a refund for your PPC.
If you lose or damage your certificate, contact us. We can send you a replacement.
You’ll receive your replacement certificate within 10 working days.
Change of name or address
It is important that your details are kept up to date. If your address changes, contact us so we can update our records.
If your name changes, we will update your certificate.
You'll need to send us your certificate, plus a copy of one of the following:
- marriage certificate
- civil partnership certificate
- deed poll
- Decree Absolute
Our address is:
NHS Business Services Authority
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
You may be able to claim a full or partial refund if you become entitled to free prescriptions while your certificate is still valid. Check what entitles you to free prescriptions.
Download the HC11 leaflet (PDF: 215.08KB) for details of refund arrangements.
To claim a refund, you need to contact us.