Prescription Charges

In England, NHS prescriptions are charged per item. As of April 1 2013 each item costs £7.85.

Who is exempt from NHS prescription charges in England?

Some people are exempt from paying prescription charges. To qualify for free prescriptions you must be:

  • Under 16
  • 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • 60 or over
  • Pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and hold a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • Have a specified medical condition and hold a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • Have a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without help from another person and hold a valid medical exemption certificate
  • Hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • An NHS inpatient

You will also be exempt from prescription charges if you or your partner (including civil partners) are named on, or are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate or a valid HG2 certificate (full help with health costs), or you receive either:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

There are also some situations in which medicines are supplied free:

  • Prescribed contraceptive
  • Medication administered at a hospital or an NHS Walk-in Centre
  • Medication personally administered by a GP
  • Medication supplied at a hospital or PCT clinic for the treatment of a sexually transmitted infection or tuberculosis (TB)

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website​