Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions
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If people are not eligible for free prescriptions, the cost of medicine can creep up, particularly if a person requires multiple prescriptions to manage their health conditions. However, those in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland do not have to pay for their prescriptions as they are free. One thing that can help a person with multiple prescriptions is an NHS prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).
Coined as the NHS prescription “season pass” a PPC covers the cost of all NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, regardless of how many someone needs.
Allocated by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), there are currently two types of PPC to choose from.
The first is a three month PPC, for those who need more than three prescribed items in the space of three months.
The second is a 12 month PPC, for people who require over 11 prescribed items during a year.
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The three month PPC costs £30.25 , while the 12 month version costs £108.10.
According to the NHS, patients who require at least two prescriptions per month could save a total of £116 with a 12 month PPC.
This is around £25 over the course of three months.
Additionally, those who need three items each month could save £228, while those who require four items each month could save £340 with a 12 month PPC.
This would be a saving of £53 or £81 respectively over the course of three months.
A social media user took to Twitter to express their disbelief over the lack of publicity the scheme has received.
@Sarahhoddy94 wrote: “I think it’s mad that it isn’t widely known/advertised that you can pay £10 a month for a NHS prepayment prescription certificate and you can get as many prescriptions you need.
“I’m picking up three prescriptions this afternoon that should cost me £30.”
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Several people replied, expressing their own shock. Some told how they had chosen not to seek medical care due to the large cumulative cost of multiple prescriptions.
Twitter user @leiaelfy96 wrote: “Girl what!? Where was this news, from the NHS or any of the health care professionals I saw, when I stopped my meds for a year because I couldn’t afford them”
Britons can purchase a PPC on the NHS Business Services Authority’s website or at a registered pharmacy.
If bought online, they will instantly receive the PPC through their email and it will come into effect on this day.
If a person requests a physical one they’ll receive their paper certificate within 10 working days.
People can either pay in full for the PPC or spread the costs across 10 or 12 monthly installments by direct debit.
The NHS states it is very important the details on a person’s PPC are correct and kept up to date.
So if a person changes their name, they will need a new certificate.
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