Free prescriptions: How to save £340 on NHS drugs if you don’t qualify for benefits | Personal finance | Finance

People over 60 and people with certain health conditions are eligible for free prescriptions, but most people have to pay a prescription fee. One of the most popular ways to save money on NHS medicines is to buy a prepayment certificate, also known as PPC. Obtaining a prepayment certificate allows Britons to claim as many NHS prescriptions as they need for a fixed price, which is ideal for those with repeat prescriptions.

Experts are letting people know they save up to £340 if they get multiple prescriptions.

Currently, a PPC costs an individual £30.25 for a three month period or £108.10 for 12 months.

The majority of those who need NHS medicines choose to buy a PPC online because they are digital certificates.

Additionally, registered pharmacies can view PPCs online if an email address is provided.

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Someone’s PPC for prescriptions will start from the date of their initial purchase. However, it is possible to request a different start date.

People can pay their PPCs over the phone or via email through direct debit or card payment. Alternatively, they can pay in full at a pharmacy.

Please note that it is not possible to pay for a 12-month PPC using the Direct Debit payment method.

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, explained how much people can save by using a PPC.


Ms Haines explained: ‘If you take medicine regularly and therefore have a lot of NHS prescriptions to pay for – each prescription costing £9.35 per item – it may be cheaper to buy a prepaid certificate from arrangement.

“Basically a subscription for prescriptions, it covers all NHS prescriptions, including dental care, no matter how many items you need.

“While a three month PPC costs £30.25 and will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in that time, the 12 month option costs £108.10 and allows you save money if you need more than 11 prescription items per year.

“To break down the savings further: two items per month will save a 12 month PPC holder £116.30 per month, with three items per month resulting in a saving of £228.50 and four items per month saving £340 £.70 – this is the equivalent of £28:39.

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“While a PPC is valid from the day you apply (unless otherwise requested), it may take a few days for you to receive your certificate details by post.

“If you pay a prescription fee while you wait for the details to arrive, you can get a refund, provided you receive an NHS reimbursement form (FP57) when you pay.

“Some pharmacies may be able to sell you PPC. You will not be able to pay by direct debit if you buy PPC at a pharmacy.

Those interested in applying for a prepayment certificate if they are not eligible for free prescriptions can apply through the NHS website.

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