Prescriptions

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

Prescriptions for people with cancer in England

NHS prescriptions are free for people with cancer in England.

If you are having any treatment related to cancer or its effects, you can apply for an exemption certificate. You need to collect form FP92A 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’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’ll 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 (see details of the Low Income Scheme on page 110)
  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax exemption certificate
  • you’re 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 have a long-term physical disability that prevents you leaving home without help from another person
  • 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

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.