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Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).
The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication. However, many medications are cheaper to buy over the counter without a prescription.
These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website