Ever heard of the Prescription Prepayment Certificate?
If you live in England, need medicines on a long-term basis and pay prescription charges, it could help make your medicines more affordable.
The Prescription Prepayment Certificate is like a season ticket for your medicines. You can get your medicines at a discount by either paying a lump sum upfront or monthly by direct debit.
Prescriptions now cost £8.05 per item. If you need 4 or more items in three months, you can save money by buying a three-month certificate for £29.10.
Alternatively, you can buy a 12-month certificate for £104. This will work out cheaper if you need 14 or more items in a year and means you get your medicines for around £2 per week.
Here’s a quick ready-reckoner to help you see if a prepayment certificate would work for you:
|Number of prescribed medicines you need each month||Saving with a 12-month PPC||Saving with a three-month PPC|
|2||Over £80 a year||Over £15 in three months|
|3||Over £175 a year||Over £40 in three months|
|4||Over £270 a year||Over £65 in three months|
You can buy a certificate online or by calling 0300 330 1341. You can also buy them direct from a small number of pharmacies. The certificate looks like this:
Just take it with you next time you go and the pharmacist will ensure the discount is applied.
A recent survey of 4,000 people with long-term conditions from The Prescription Charges Coalition, a group of charities campaigning on prescription charges, showed that many people who could benefit from a Prescription Prepayment Certificate don’t have one.
Overall, 22% of those who didn’t have a certificate because they felt they wouldn’t save anything collected enough prescriptions to benefit from one.
Awareness of the certificate remains low. Whilst 37% of people found out about it from their pharmacist and 23% from their family and friends, only 14% did so from their GP and just 5% from the consultant who diagnosed their illness.
If you don’t qualify for a Prescription Prepayment Certificate there are still ways you can save money on your medicines. Take a look at our Top 5 Recession-Busting Tips for Prescription Medicines and go and see a pharmacist for advice.
You can also learn more about the wider issue of prescription charges by listening to the RPS podcast on the topic.