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More than a million patients in England paid more than they needed to for NHS prescriptions last year


More than a million patients in England paid more than they needed to for NHS prescriptions last year

[ Read the original MoneySavingExpert.com article ]

"More than a million patients in England paid more than they needed to for NHS prescriptions last year and could saved an average of over £35 by getting a 'prescription prepayment certificate', data obtained by MoneySavingExpert.com reveals.

Figures disclosed by the NHS under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,042,008 people paid for at least 12 prescription items in the 2018/19 financial year. Each prescription item in England cost £8.80 over this period, meaning each patient shelled out a minimum of £105.60.

Yet an NHS prescription prepayment certificate, which is basically a season ticket for prescriptions and means you pay once and then get free prescriptions for the period covered, costs £104 for 12 months. And on average those who paid for 12 or more items actually bought around 16 items each - meaning the average saving with a certificate would have been over £35.

The number of people who could have saved with a PPC jumped by more than 200,000 compared to 2017/18, partly because the cost of individual prescription items has risen whilst the cost of the certificate has stayed the same. The number of certificates bought also rose year-on-year, and stood at over 2,250,000 in 2018/19.

The prescription charge in England is now £9 per item, so anyone who knows they'll need to pay for at least 12 prescription items in a year will save money by getting an annual certificate. You can also get a three-month certificate for £29.10, so if you need four or more prescriptions over this period you'd be well served by buying one."

A PPC costs:

  • £29.10 for 3 months
  • £104 for 12 months
  • £10.40 per month by direct debit for 10 months

If you need:

  • two items each month – you can save £112 with a 12-month PPC
  • three items each month – you can save £220 with a 12-month PPC
  • four items each month – you can save £328 with a 12-month PPC

Price is fixed for the year - so you miss out on the usual annual prescription charge increase each April.

The digital prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) is available to buy online

 

More information