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Free prescriptions

People over the age of 60 are eligible for free prescriptions and it’s usually possible for a friend or relative to collect medication on your behalf.
2 min read
In this article
NHS prescription charges Prescription prepayment card Collecting your prescriptions
Home delivery service

NHS prescription charges

In England, anyone who is aged 60 years or over (or is on certain benefits, such as Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit) is entitled to free prescriptions.

If you don’t qualify for free prescriptions, the current charge in England is £9.35 per prescription.

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all prescriptions are free regardless of age.

Proposed changes to free prescriptions

In mid-2021 the government launched a public consultation into proposals to raise the age for free prescriptions in England from 60 to 66.

Prescription prepayment card

If you’re not yet 60 and are taking medication on a regular basis in England, you could save money by getting a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). This will cover all your NHS prescriptions, including dental.


A three-month PPC costs £30.25 and a 12-month PPC costs £108.10 (2021-22). If you need two prescription items a month, you could save more than £100 over the year, and if you need four items a month, you could save more than £300 a year. If you want a 12-month PPC, it’s possible to pay in installments.


You can apply for a PPC online.


Prescription Prepayment Certificate form

Need help filling in the form? Call:

0300 330 1341


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Collecting your prescriptions

If it's not practical for you to go to the GP surgery and the pharmacy regularly, it’s possible for someone else to collect prescriptions for you, but there are some rules and regulations.

Collecting a prescription from a GP surgery

A family member can pick up a repeat prescription from the GP surgery on your behalf, as long as you have informed the surgery in advance. Your relative usually won’t need to provide proof of their identity, but they will probably be asked to confirm your name and registered address.


Some surgeries will send the prescription directly to the pharmacy, which prevents an extra journey to collect the prescription.

Collecting a prescription from the pharmacy

If your relative has your prescription form and would like to collect your medication from the pharmacy, you must first complete part one of the prescription form (FP1). Your relative will then need to complete parts two and three. On the form, you’ll also need to confirm that you receive free prescriptions.


To collect the medication, they will need to present this form to the pharmacist.

Home delivery service

Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service for patients who aren’t able to visit regularly for repeat prescriptions. If you would benefit from this, ask about it at your local pharmacy.

Further reading

Hearing and eye tests

If you’re experiencing problems with your vision or hearing, speak to your GP for tests, which are free on the NHS ...


Telehealth devices support people with health conditions, such as chronic asthma, hypertension and diabetes.

Managing medication

Read about correctly storing medication and how using a pill dispenser can help you take medication as prescribed.

Last updated: 12 Jul 2021