Prescriptions

NHS prescriptions are free in Scotland and Wales, and HS prescriptions are free in Northern Ireland.

If you have cancer, you may be eligible for free NHS prescriptions in England. Everyone having treatment for cancer can apply for free prescriptions by collecting a FP92A form from their GP surgery or cancer clinic. You will be sent a certificate that lasts for five years.

You can also get free prescriptions in England if:

  • you’re 60 or over
  • you’re under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
  • you’re an NHS hospital inpatient
  • you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • you receive a war pension
  • your weekly income is low enough
  • you are receiving certain benefits, such as income support or Universal Credit

There are other long-term disabilities that qualify for free prescriptions, such as epilepsy and diabetes.

If you do not qualify for free prescriptions in England, it may save you money to buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate. It can save you money on your prescriptions. You can buy a certificate over the phone. Call the Prescription Pricing Authority on 0845 850 0030. You can also buy the certificate online from nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Prescriptions

NHS prescriptions are free in Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, Health Service (HS) prescriptions are free for everyone. This includes medication, wigs and surgical appliances.

Prescriptions in England

People with cancer in England are eligible for free NHS prescriptions. This is for all medication, not just cancer-related medication.

All people undergoing treatment for cancer, or the effects of cancer or its treatment, can apply for free prescriptions by collecting form FP92A from their GP surgery or cancer clinic.

You’ll receive a certificate that shows you don’t have to pay prescription fees. Certificates for people with cancer last for five years. They can be used to the end date, even if your cancer treatment finishes during that period. At the end of the five years you can reapply if you’re still undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment. Speak to you doctor about whether you qualify.

You also qualify for free NHS prescriptions if:

  • you’re 60 or over
  • you’re under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
  • you’re an NHS hospital inpatient
  • you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • you receive a valid war pension and need prescriptions for your war injury
  • your weekly income is low enough you’re included in an award of: Income Support; the guarantee element of Pension Credit; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Universal Credit; or are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax exemption certificate.

You can also get free prescriptions if you have:

  • a long-term physical disability that prevents you from leaving your home without the help of another person
  • a permanent fistula, such as a caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy, which needs continuous dressing or an appliance
  • epilepsy that needs continuous anti-convulsive therapy
  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet only
  • diabetes insipidu s and other kinds of hypopituitarism
  • myxoedema
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example Addison’s disease), for which specific substitution therapy is essential.

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

How can I apply?

If you have any of the above medical conditions, ask your doctor to fill in form FP92A


Prescription Prepayment Certificate

If you 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 more than four prescriptions in three months or more than 14 prescribed items in one year.

The charge for a single prescription item is £8.05. For items prescribed in combination/duo packs, there’s a prescription charge for each different drug in the pack.

A Prescription Prepayment Certificate for three months costs £29.10, and a Prescription Prepayment Certificate for 12 months costs £104.

How can I apply?

You can buy a certificate over the phone using a credit or debit card. Call the Prescription Pricing Authority on 0845 850 0030. You can also buy the certificate online from nhsbsa.nhs.uk


Back to Help with health costs

Wigs and fabric supports

You may be able to get free wigs and fabric supports, depending on your situation.

Dental treatment

Dental charges vary across the UK. You may qualify for free dental treatment.

Eye treatment and glasses

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. There are certain criteria that qualify you for free eyetests.

Low income scheme

The Low Income Scheme may help people who still have to pay healthcare costs, but may be on a low income.