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Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPCs)

A 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 £9.35 per item. A PPC costs:

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

The quickest way to buy a PPC is to buy it online.Buy a PPC online

Get a digital PPC

You can receive your PPC instantly by email.

A digital certificate is better for the environment and saves time and money for the NHS.

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 £115 a year More than £25 in 3 months
3 More than £225 a year More than £50 in 3 months
4 More than £340 a year More than £75 in 3 months

 Other ways to buy

In a pharmacy registered to sell PPCs online

You can get a digital certificate if you provide an email address. You'll get it 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: 880KB).


If you need help buying a PPC, 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.

Benefits include:

  • 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.

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.

Check now

Contact us

You should contact us if you need to replace your PPC, change your name or address, or claim a refund for your PPC.

Switch to a digital PPC

To switch from paper to a digital PPC, contact us. We will update your details and you'll receive your PPC by email.

When you collect your prescriptions, you can show your certificate on your phone instead of taking a paper certificate with you.

Replacement PPCs

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
  • passport
  • Decree Absolute

Our address is:

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

PPC refunds

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: 169KB) for details of refund arrangements.

To claim a refund, you need to contact us.