Increase in prescription costs in England

Prescription charges increase on April 1st 2019. If you have several prescriptions, you could save money with a pre-payment certificate.


NHS England prescription charges have risen by 20p, meaning that prescriptions now cost £9 per item. If you pay for your prescriptions and have multiple items, it might be worth getting a ‘season pass’. With the increase in prescription costs, thousands of people could save even more money on their medication.

We’ve put together some key Q&As on pre-payment certificates, to help you get up to speed and start saving.

What is a pre-payment certificate?

A pre-payment certificate is basically a prescription subscription, or ‘season pass’. You pay your prescription fees in a lump sum and save money for doing so. The fees are reasonable and could save you a hefty sum.

How much do pre-payment certificates cost?

Pre-payment certificates come in two forms: three-monthly and annually. A three-month pass costs £29.10 and an annual pass costs £104.00. Despite the increase in prescription costs, certificate costs remain static, which is a great bonus.

How much can I save with a pre-payment certificate?

The more medications you take, the more you save. Here’s the breakdown from NHS England:

· A three-month pass will save you money if you need more than three prescription items in three months.

· An annual pass will save you money if you need more than eleven prescription items in a year.

If you have two items a month every month, an annual pass will save you £112, so more items means more savings on top.

Where can I get a pre-payment certificate?

You can purchase a pre-payment online directly from NHS Business Services.

When will my pre-payment certificate be activated?

You certificate will be valid from the day you submit your application, unless you request otherwise. It’s important to note that your certificate start date must be within one month of applying, either before or after.

Who shouldn’t purchase a pre-payment certificate?

These season passes are a great way to save money. However, it’s worth checking whether you actually have to pay in the first place. NHS England will pay for your prescriptions for you, if you meet certain criteria. These subsidies are made for people over the age of 65, those with medical exemptions or those receiving income support. These are just some exemptions, though there are lots more. For more information about prescription, check out our blog post on prescription exemptions.

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