NHS prepayment certificate costs to rise next month – how much will you have to pay?

NHS prepayment certificate costs to rise next month – how much will you have to pay?

Dr Andrew Vallance Owen on NHS prescriptions

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 05/04/2024

- 04:00

Prescription charges will go up in cost in April as well

Britons will have to pay more for a NHS prepayment certificate (PPC) next month in a blow to those with regular prescriptions.

This comes as the Government prepares to raise prescription charges from May 1, 2024 under plans laid before Parliament.

What is a PPC?

This certificate is used by people to save money if they receive multiple regular prescriptions through the NHS.

If someone has a PPC, they will be able to get all prescriptions for a set price over a period of time for a set price.

Prescription holders have the choice of purchasing a PPC for either a three-month or 12-month period, depending on what suits them best.

A PPC can cover dental prescriptions too but does not apply to other health items, such as wigs and fabric support.

Man worried and NHS prescription

Prescription costs are rising as of next month


How much is a PPC?

Currently, a three-month certificate costs £31.25 and will save patients money if they require more than three prescribed items over this period of time.

As it stands, a 12-month PPC is priced at £111.60 and can allow someone to make savings if they need over 11 prescriptions in a year.

In comparison, a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) PPC comes to £19.30 and will save Britons money if they need over two prescribed qualifying HRT items annually.

However, these prices will remain in place for only one more month before the pending price hike is implemented.

How much will a PPC be?

With next month’s price hikes, the cost of an HRT PPC will jump by 50p to £19.80 which will cover people for the full year.

Furthermore, a three-month certificate will go up by 80p and shall cost prescription holders £32.08 over this period.

As well as this, a PPC for the full year will cost patients £114.50, which represents a whopping £2.90 hike.

Finally, regular prescription charges will rise to £9.90 per medication item as of May 1, 2024.

Why is the PPC cost rising?

Changes to the certificate’s pricing are being introduced due to amendments to the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulation.

These were presented before Parliament earlier this week (April 3) and also will impact the cost of a regular prescription charge.


NHS sign

This price hike to PPCs come amid a growing crisis of faith in the NHS


The pending hike to prescription charges and PPC prices comes as Britons are already struggling with the cost of living.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Almost nine in ten items are available for free on the NHS in England and we provide a wide range of support to ensure everyone who needs a prescription can afford it.

“Those on a low income, aged over 60 or with qualifying medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy and diabetes all qualify for exemptions, as do children and pregnant women.

“Where charges are in place, it is important prices are regularly updated to ensure the NHS maintains a sustainable business model and can continue to deliver excellent patient care.”

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