Pre-payment Certificate

How to save money with an NHS prepayment certificate

How to save money with an NHS prepayment certificate

If you are one of those people who are never ill, there is no need to read on. If you are like me however and need regular medication (I have asthma), buying an annual pre-payment NHS certificate can be an absolute lifesaver!


What is a pre-payment certificate

Buying a NHS pre-payment certificate is like buying an annual pass. You are paying for all of your medicine all year round, no matter what you need. Potentially, it is something which can save you lots of money.

How much is it?

You are able to buy an annual NHS certificate for £111.60 pounds or a 3-month pass for £31.25. You can pay the full amount in one go or opt to pay in monthly instalments. The price of a subscription right now is £9.35 per item.

Am I eligible?

Anyone can buy a pre-payment certificate. However it’s always good to check if you are exempt from paying all together. For example if you are an NHS in patient, in full-time education and aged between 16-18, are receiving income support, then you won’t have to pay anything at all. The contraceptive pill by the way is also free. Check here.

How do I get one?

it is easiest to apply via the NHS prescriptions website for a pre-payment certificate. You can ring or send by post, but online is better!

Refunds for money paid

If you have already paid for the medication, you can apply for a refund as long as your prepayment certificate is on the same date or earlier than when you paid for this prescription. You can backdate your PPC for one month and have 3 months to apply for a refund. You will need to ask for an FP57 certificate.

How much you can save

According to the NHS website, this is how much you can save. Obviously, the more prescriptions you need, the more you can save.

Number of prescribed medicines you need each monthSaving with a 3-month PPCSaving with a 3 month PPC
2Over £120 a yearOver £26 in 3 months
3Over £235 a yearOver £55 in 3 months
4Over £351 a yearOver £84 in 3 months

Cheaper alternatives

If you suffer from hay fever or need general drugs (i.e. painkillers and anti-histamines) it is often cheaper to buy these drugs over the counter rather than paying £9.65 for a prescription. I often pay for supermarket’s own brands as I usually need to pay for anti-histamines all year round.

My monthly savings

I have brittle Asthma, which means I need to be on constant medication: inhalers (Ventolin), a tablet (Singulair) and also Duoresp Spiromax (the steroid preventer). I have brittle asthma, which can be controlled with these medicines. However, sometimes my asthma can be triggered by things such as catching the flu, changing seasons, or an allergy to dogs/cats/dust/feathers.

If you look at how much my everyday medication costs, I should be paying around £44 pounds a month (4 x inhalers and tablets). At the moment, I am taking Prednisolone (oral steroids) and Antibiotics, the course of which has had to be extended, which should cost £35.20, reflected by the new prices.

So without the pre-payment certificate, I would have paid £75.20 this month for my medication. I currently pay a monthly sum of £10.40, which means I have saved an amazing £64.80 in just one month.

Article has been updated with a price update. Prices tend to increase but will keep this page updated as much as possible.

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