What you need to know about your NHS prescriptions
This article provides information on everything you need to know about your NHS prescription, from NHS prescription charge, prescription charge exemptions, how to apply for an exemption when eligible, and the ways how to order your prescriptions.
The National Health Service (NHS) is a healthcare system in the United Kingdom that provides free or low-cost healthcare to all UK residents. One of the key services provided by the NHS is the prescription of medications to treat a variety of medical conditions. If you have an NHS prescription, there are a few important things you need to know.
NHS prescriptions are only free if you meet certain criteria
In England, most people pay a fee for their NHS prescriptions, unless they are exempt. Exemptions are available for a variety of reasons, such as:
being under 16 years old,
being over 60 years old,
being pregnant or having a baby,
having a certain medical condition,
or receiving certain benefits.
If you are not sure if you are exempt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
You can save money with a prepayment certificate
If you need to pay for multiple prescriptions over the course of a year, you may be able to save money with a prepayment certificate. This is a type of 3-month. or yearly subscription that allows you to pay a set fee upfront and receive unlimited prescriptions for the year. Prepayment certificates are available online or by phone.
You can collect your prescription from any pharmacy
If your doctor gives you a paper prescription, you can take it to any pharmacy to have it filled. You can also choose to have your prescription sent electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. This can be more convenient, as you do not need to physically collect the paper prescription.
You can request your regular medicine in three different ways
Before you run out of the medication, you can request your medication either through your GP by calling or emailing them, through your nominated pharmacy, or through your NHS app or Patient Access app. Using the app is quite convenient as you can see your medication record you have with your GP, and select the medicines you need. You can also see if the GP has approved your request and select the pharmacy you want the prescription to be sent to.
NHS prescription charge per medicine is £9.65.
If you do not fall to any exemption criteria, then you need to pay the charge per medicine, which is a type of tax you pay to NHS. If you do not pay, you might get a fine which can be a higher price than the charge.