Figures disclosed by the NHS under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,042,008 people paid for at least 12 prescription items in the 2018/19 financial year. Each prescription item in England cost £8.80 over this period, meaning each patient shelled out a minimum of £105.60.
Yet an NHS prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), which is basically a season ticket for prescriptions and means you pay once and then get free prescriptions for the period covered, costs £104 for 12 months. And on average those who paid for 12 items or more actually bought about 16 items each – meaning the average saving with a certificate would have been over £35.
The number of people who could have saved with a PPC jumped by more than 200,000 compared with 2017/18, partly because the cost of individual prescription items has risen while the cost of the certificate has stayed the same. The number of certificates bought also rose year on year, and stood at more than 2,250,000 in 2018/19.
The prescription charge in England is now £9 per item, so anyone who knows they’ll need to pay for at least 12 prescription items in a year will save money by getting an annual certificate. You can also get a three-month certificate for £29.10, so if you need four or more prescriptions over this period you’d be well served by buying one.
See full info and more ways to cut the cost of prescriptions in our 22 Medicine Savings guide.