NHS prescription costs in England to rise by 30p to £9.65 an item from April
The NHS prescription charge in England will increase by 30p to £9.65 from 1 April, the Government confirmed today. The cost of prescription 'season tickets', which let you prepay for multiple prescriptions over a set period, is also rising – so if you regularly pay for prescriptions, it's worth checking if you should buy a certificate now, before prices go up.
Prescription charges will increase by 3% – here's how costs will change from 1 April:
|Single item||£9.35||£9.65 (up 30p)|
|Three-month prepayment certificate||£30.25||£31.25 (up £1)|
|12-month prepayment certificate||£108.10||£111.60 (up £3.50)|
|12-month hormone replacement therapy (HRT) certificate||-||£19.30|
See our Cheap and free prescriptions guide for tips to cut the cost of medicine. Prescriptions remain free of charge for those in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Check if you can get prescriptions for free
Before paying for a prescription, or buying a prescription season ticket, it's always worth checking first if you qualify for an exemption and can avoid paying entirely. The NHS has an online 'Do I get free prescriptions?' tool where you can check your eligibility.
More people qualify than you might think – not just those on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits. People aged under 16 or 60+, as well as those aged 16 to 18 in full-time education, are also entitled to free prescriptions, as are those who are pregnant and who have had a baby in the past 12 months (provided you have a maternity exemption certificate), plus more.
Also be aware that if you're prescribed medication, such as painkillers or dermatology creams that are also available over the counter, often it's cheaper to buy them that way rather than buying them via a prescription.
Over a million people who get prescriptions regularly could save with a 'season ticket' – check if you should get one NOW before prices go up
In a recent MoneySavingExpert.com investigation, we revealed that more than a million people in England missed out on savings of around £40 in the 12 months leading up to April 2022 because they didn't buy a prescriptions 'season ticket'.
Currently, a 12-month prescription certificate can save you at least £4.10 a year if you buy at least 12 prescriptions. Alternatively, a three-month season ticket can save you at least £7.15 if you buy four or more prescriptions.
You can buy a season ticket online, over the phone on 0300 330 1341, or at many pharmacies. It can be paid for by card or by direct debit. And if you've paid for prescriptions while waiting for your season ticket to arrive, you can use an NHS FP57 refund form (ask the pharmacy or dispensary which dispenses your prescription for one) to get your money back.