Skip to main content Skip to footer

Prescription prepayment certificates

Our PPC online services are changing

Our 'NHS prescription prepayment certificate' online services are changing on Saturday 18 November 2017. We’ll be making our content clearer as well as updating the design, making it simpler to understand and easier to use. We need a period of time to make these improvements. The service is not expected to be available during this time, from 7am to 10am. We’ll inform you when the service is back up and running.

PPC online applications unavailable Sunday 19 November

Due to planned maintenance, PPC online applications will be unavailable between 00:00am and 06:30am on Sunday 19 November.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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

Buy a PPC online 

Savings

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

1. Online

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.

Buy a PPC online

2. By post

To apply by post, complete the FP95 application form, available from pharmacies and doctors surgeries. 

Download the FP95 application form (178KB)

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:

PPC
NHS Business Services Authority
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

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 (PDF: 178KB) (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.

Download the list of pharmacies that sell PPCs (215KB)

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.

How to claim a refund

Send the original PPC to:

PPC
NHS Business Services Authority
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6SN 

You need to include a covering letter explaining why you are claiming a refund. If you're paying by Direct Debit and you become entitled to free NHS prescriptions, you will need to contact your bank or building society to cancel the payments.

Time limits

  • If the PPC holder dies, their estate must claim a refund within 24 months.
  • If you go into hospital and stay there until your PPC runs out, you must claim your refund within 3 months of the expiry date.
  • If you become entitled to free NHS prescriptions, you must claim your refund within 3 months of the date that your entitlement began (for example, the start date of an an exemption certificate or the award of a qualifying benefit).

Replacement PPCs

If you lose or damage your certificate, we can send you a replacement. You will receive your replacement certificate within 10 working days.

Contact us

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:

PPC
NHS Business Services Authority
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6SN 

Information for pharmacies

Log in to PPC Direct

Register to sell PPCs

Guide to selling PPCs (470KB)

Terms and conditions

The terms and conditions of using the prescription prepayment certificate service.