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

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

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, prescriptions are free for everyone.

Prescriptions for people who don’t have cancer in England

If you are a carer or someone who is 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 – your doctor, midwife or health visitor can help you apply for this)
  • you get a valid war pension and need prescriptions for your war injury
  • your weekly income is low enough (see details of the Low Income Scheme)
  • 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 get Universal Credit and meet certain criteria
  • you have a long-term physical disability that stops you leaving the house without help from another person, and have a valid medical exemption certificate
  • you have certain other health conditions (see the NHS website for a full list) and have an FP92A form from your doctor.

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

Prescription pre-payment certificates in England

If you live in England and do not qualify for free prescriptions, you may want to buy a prescription pre-payment 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

You will need to show the pharmacist your prescription pre-payment certificate when you collect your prescription.