Prescription costs: The NHS system can save anyone who regularly takes medication hundreds of pounds

People who regularly take prescription drugs could save hundreds of pounds a year with a money-saving NHS scheme.

As the prices of basic necessities rise, many of us are looking for savings wherever we can find them. And if you’re paying for your prescriptions, the NHS ‘season pass’ that can be used at pharmacies could make a big difference.

Most adults in England have to pay £9.35 per standard item of prescription medicine, but if you need to refill your medicine every month the costs can add up. But Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPCs) allow you to prepay with a fixed price for everything you need.

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This can be financially attractive for anyone paying for more than four prescription drugs in a three month period, The Mirror reports. The three-month certificate costs £30.25, while the 12-month plan costs £108.10 – and for that you can pick up anything prescribed to you from a pharmacy.

The 12 month plan becomes cost effective even if you only buy 12 prescription drugs per year. The health department says this season pass can save hundreds over the course of a year, describing the savings as follows:

  • Two articles per month – You save £116.30 with 12 months PPC
  • Three articles per month – You save £228.50 with 12 months PPC
  • Four articles per month – You save £340.70 with 12 months PPC

In Scotland and Wales, all prescriptions are completely free. Currently in England anyone over the age of 60 and under the age of 16 can obtain an unlimited number of prescribed items free of charge.

Other groups eligible for free prescriptions are:

  • Those who are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months, with a valid maternity exemption certificate
  • Students and apprentices in some form of post-16 education
  • Anyone with a specified medical condition who has a valid Medical Exemption Certificate
  • People with a persistent physical disability that prevents you from going out without the help of another person, with a valid medical certificate of exemption
  • War pensioners with an exemption certificate and whose prescription is for a recognized disability
  • Any NHS hospital patient
  • Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, Universal Credit and meet financial criteria

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