Prescriptions

The help you can get to pay for prescriptions is different across the UK.

In England, NHS prescriptions are free for people with cancer. In Scotland and Wales, NHS prescriptions are free for everyone. In Northern Ireland, HS prescriptions are free.

If you live in England and need prescriptions for things that are related to cancer or its effects, you can apply for an exemption certificate. You need to collect a FP92A form from your GP surgery or oncology clinic.

Prescriptions for other people in England

If you are a carer or someone who’s not having cancer-related treatment, you can still get free prescriptions if:

  • you are aged 60 or over
  • you are aged under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
  • you are an NHS hospital inpatient
  • you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months (you will need a MatEx exemption certificate from your doctor)
  • you receive a valid war pension and need prescriptions for your war injury
  • your weekly income is low enough
  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax exemption certificate
  • you are included in an award of Income Support, the guarantee element of Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • you receive Universal Credit and meet certain criteria
  • you have a long-term physical disability that prevents you leaving the house without help from another person, and have a valid medical exemption certificate
  • you have certain other health conditions (see nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcosts for a full list) and have a FP92A form from your doctor.

You’ll need to show your pharmacist proof that you qualify for free prescriptions.

Prescription prepayment certificates in England

If you live in England and don’t qualify for free prescriptions, you may want to buy a prescription prepayment certificate for three months or a year. It will save you money if you need either:

  • more than four prescriptions in three months 
  • more than 14 prescriptions in a year. 

You can buy a certificate over the phone using a credit or debit card. Call the NHS Business Services Authority on 0300 330 1341. You can also buy the certificate online from gov.uk/get-a-ppc

You’ll need to show your pharmacist your prescription prepayment certificate when you collect your prescription.

Back to Help with health costs

Eye treatment

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. You will qualify if you meet certain criteria.

NHS Low income scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps people who have a low income to pay for their healthcare costs.