Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).
The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.
From 1 April 2019
Regulations have been laid before Parliament to increase certain National Health Service charges in England from 1 April 2019.
In the 2015 spending review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020 to 2021 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings to secure the best value from NHS resources and primary care must play its part.
This year, therefore, we have increased the prescription charge by 20 pence from £8.80 to £9 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. To ensure that those with the greatest need, and who are not already exempt from the charge, are protected we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) for another year. The 3-month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104. Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.
Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation.
Details of the revised charges for 2019 to 2020 can be found below.
Wigs and fabric supports
- Surgical bra: £29.50
- Abdominal or spinal support: £44.55
- Stock modacrylic wig: £72.80
- Partial human hair wig: £192.85
- Full bespoke human hair wig: £282
Find out more about the prescription prepayment certificate.
If you need to access the services below, the medicines you're prescribed are free:
- medicines administered at a hospital or an NHS walk-in centre
- prescribed contraceptives
- medicines personally administered by a GP or provided via a patient group direction (PGD)
- medicines supplied at a hospital or clinical commissioning group (CCG) clinic for the treatment of a sexually transmitted infection, tuberculosis, or a mental disorder for those subject to a supervised community treatment order
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website