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Understanding your NHS prescriptions
Whatever your prescription, however you like to order it. We’re here to help. Our prescription services give you safe and convenient access to your medicines
What is an NHS prescription?
An NHS prescription is issued by a prescriber, such as a doctor on behalf of the NHS. Depending on the medicine you need, your prescription will either be a one-off or a repeat. A one-off prescription is usually given for a condition where medicine is only needed for a short period of time. This could be painkillers for pain relief or antibiotics to treat an infection. Repeat prescriptions are usually for conditions that need ongoing treatment for a longer period of time. This includes conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, eczema and asthma.
How much is the NHS prescription charge?
The standard prescription charge in England is currently £9.35 per item on your prescription (sometimes there are exceptions). Chat with your pharmacist for more information on your prescription charges.
Depending on age or circumstance, some people are entitled to free NHS prescriptions including those who:
- get certain benefits
- have a valid maternity exemption certificate
- have a valid medical exemption certificate
- have a valid war pension exemption certificate
- have an HC2 certificate (NHS Low Income Scheme)
- have paid for a prescription prepayment certificate
- are over 60
- are under 16 (or 16-18 and in full-time education)
Use the NHS eligibility checker to find out if you're entitled to free NHS prescriptions. If you regularly pick up an NHS prescription from your pharmacy, a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) could help save you money, find out more here.