Prescription Charges & Private Fees

Prescriptions Charges and Exemptions

Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).  Information on who is entitled to free prescription is available here.

The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. 

NHS Prescription charges

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.

From 1.4.2021

  • Prescription (per item): £9.35
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £108.10
  • 3-month PPC: £30.25

The Prepayment Certificate prices are unchanged for the last few years, so are worthwhile if you are having regular prescriptions, even for a short period. So people on 1 item per month will now be better off with an annual prepayment. Prepayments can now be paid in instalments.

If you will have to pay for 4 or more prescription items in three months, or more than 11 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website