How much you pay depends on the number of medicines you’re on and where you live. Some people can get free NHS prescriptions.
NHS prescriptions charges
In England you usually pay £8.60 per medicine. For example, if you have one prescription with 2 medicines, you pay £17.20.
There are a few exceptions - check with your pharmacist.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland NHS prescriptions are free.
Private prescriptions charges
What you pay depends on the medicine you’re prescribed. To find out the cost, take your prescription to your local Pharmacy.
Check if you get free NHS prescriptions
You might get free NHS prescriptions if you:
- are 60 or over
- are 16 to 18 and in full time education
- are 15 or under
- are pregnant
- had a baby in last 12 months
- get tax credits
- get certain benefits or are on a low income
- have a disability
- use medicines to manage certain health conditions
If you have a health condition or disability your GP should give you an application form to fill in. If you’re pregnant you’ll get this from your midwife.
Within 10 days the NHS will send you an exemption card that proves you don’t have to pay. Show this when you pick up your medicines.
If your GP didn’t give you an application form, phone the surgery to check you qualify for an exemption card.
Call the NHS helpline 0300 330 1349 if you think your prescription should be free.
Save money on your NHS medicines
If you’re on 2 or more medicines a month you can pay for your prescriptions in advance and save at least £7.50 a month. It’s a bit like buying a season ticket.
You’ll have to buy a prepaid prescription card (also called a prepayment certificate) from the NHS. You can do this online.