Prescriptions and medication
UK Prescription Prices
Prescription prices in England are now priced at £7.20 per item as at 1st April 2009.
Pre Paid Prescriptions
If you have to pay prescription charges and have more than one medicine per month it could be a wise idea to purchase a Pre-Paid Certificate. This can only be used for your own prescription though. You can not use it to obtain medicines for other people. Remember that the charges are per item, not per prescription, so if you have 1 prescription with 4 items on it you would be charged £28.80.
There are two schemes available:-
* 3 month Pre Pay which costs £28.25
* 12 month Pre Pay which costs £104.00
The easiest way to get your certificate is to purchase it online at NHS Prescription Pricing Authority. A couple of added advantages are that if you have purchased a Pre Paid Certificate and then become eligible for free prescriptions then you can ask for a refund of the remaining term. Also, if you have just had to purchase a number of prescriptions ask whilst paying for the prescriptions for an FP57 from the pharmacist then when you receive your certificate you can ask for a refund for the costs you have already paid.
When are Pre Paid Medicines not Cost Effective?
Pre payment will not be cheaper if you actually get only one item on prescription per month as if you were to only purchase the one then it would actually cost you a total of £86.40 over the 12 months. If you were to buy two prescriptions per month then the total over the year would be £172.80 which would make the Pre Paid Certificate very much worthwhile. In fact if over a 12 month period you need 15 prescriptions then the pre paid certificate will be cost effective as this would amount to £108.00. If your prescriptions amount to less than 16 per annum then the certificate will not be cost effective for you.
If you do not have a pre paid certificate for drugs and medication as you don't feel that this would be an advantage, still be wise when buying medicines or even if you have been given a prescription for medication.
1) Ask you pharmacist whether there is a cheaper alternative that can be purchased over the counter.
2) Look at online chemists to see whether you can purchase the item cheaper.
3) If you buy a medicine which in effect does the same thing (always check the ingredients if you have any allergies) but is not a branded product then this could also mean that you save pennies and in some cases pounds!
4) Ask you doctor if the item prescribed is cheaper on a private prescription. These still have to be paid for, but may cost less