In England, most adults need to pay NHS prescription charges. That said, some items such as contraceptives and medicines prescribed for hospital inpatients are always free.
For those who aren’t exempt from the charges, but who need to pick up numerous prescriptions each year, there may be a method of reducing costs.
This is via the prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).
It isn’t free, but despite the upfront cost, the NHS states it could still save a person money on their NHS prescription costs.
“If you know you’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) – effectively a prescription ‘season ticket’,” the NHS website states.
It goes on to explain this certificate covers all the person’s NHS prescriptions.
This includes NHS dental prescriptions.
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how many items the person needs, as they’ll be covered regardless of the number.
That said, it doesn’t cover the cost of other health items – for example wigs and fabric supports.
How much is a Prescription Prepayment Certificate?
There are two different PPC options.
The three-month option costs £30.25, and the NHS says it will save a person money if they need more than three prescribed items (subject to the charge) in three months.
The 12-month PPC, meanwhile, costs £108.10 and it will save someone money if they need more than 11 prescribed items, which would be subject to the charge, in a year.
Prior to applying for a PPC though, people are urged to see if they’re already entitled to free NHS prescriptions.
Those who don’t qualify but who believe they can save money via a PPC should note the NHS says the quickest way is to buy it online.
“The PPC will start from the day you submit your application, unless you request a different start date, but the start date must be within one month before or after the date of your application,” the rules state.
It’s also possible to apply over the phone, and the number can be found on the NHS website.