As April approaches prescription charges are bound to increase again as they have done every year. As the rest of England are penalised and have to continue to pay for life saving prescriptions Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish residents do not need to pay a penny. Scotland has just announced that they plan to scrap the prescription charges so that all their residents will be entitled to free NHS drugs regardless of age, status and employment.
The rest of England will have to continue paying for prescriptions that cost £7.20 for each item dispensed. There are some people who are not usually ill and don’t have to worry about the cost of medicines as they rarely visit the doctor. In some cases if the doctor finds that it will cost too much money for the patient they advise buying over the counter instead as most items are usually available both on and off prescription.
Save money with a pre-payment certificate?
If you find that you need NHS drugs on a regular basis and cannot buy them over the counter where it is sometimes cheaper you may have heard of a pre-payment certificate. Available for 3 or 12 months you are covered for the duration the certificate is valid for, no matter how many times you need a prescription.
A 3 month certificate costs £28.25 and will only benefit you if you need four or more items within three months. A 12 month certificate costs £104.00 and will only benefit you if you need more than 14 items in 12 months. I personally need 4 inhalers a month at a cost of £28.80 by purchasing a PPC I will save as much as £58.15 for a 3 month PPC alone or £241.60 for a 12 month PPC.
If you find that you become ill all of a sudden and require medicines on a regular basis you can pay for your medicines but ask for a receipt and refund form FP57 you must do this at the time the medicines are being dispensed and not a later date. You then have up to 3 months to claim the money back if you go on to purchase a PPC, just be sure to back date it to the date you had to pay for prescriptions so you can obtain a refund.
There are exemptions such as if you are under 18 and in full time education, over 60, have a low income, are pregnant and certain other medical conditions. If you fall into these categories then you do not need to pay, you can get help if you think you need it by contacting the NHS or asking your GP for advice.