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Prescription Exemption Checking Service

We check that claims for free NHS prescriptions have been made correctly.  Checks are made randomly and retrospectively.

Penalty charge notices

Where we think a claim for a free prescription has been made incorrectly, we’ll send the patient a letter explaining that:

  • we haven’t been able to confirm their entitlement to free prescriptions when the prescription was collected
  • they need to provide proof they were entitled or they’ll have to pay the original prescription charge, plus an additional penalty charge of up to £100

Pay your penalty charge notice

Contact us if you:

  • think you have received an incorrect penalty charge notice
  • can show that you did not act wrongfully, with any lack of care
  • can show there is an exceptional reason why you should not pay the penalty charge

Contact us

  • Use our online contact form. You will need to select 'Prescription Exemption Checking Service' from the drop down list. You can also use this form for general enquiries.
  • Call us on 0300 330 9291. We are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 3pm on Saturday.

If you're deaf or hard of hearing and you have a textphone (sometimes called a minicom), you can contact us using the Text Relay Service. Dial 18001 and then 0300 330 9291. 

We also offer a telephone translation service.

Resources for pharmacies and GP practices

Although it's the patient's responsibility to check their entitlement before claiming free prescriptions, pharmacy and GP practice staff have an important role to play in helping patients to understand the eligibility rules and the consequences of making an incorrect claim. These resources can help.

Factsheet for dispensers (183.83KB)'Claiming free prescriptions?' booklet (248.05KB)'Not sure if you're entitled to free prescriptions?' infographic (101.48KB)