Q. How can a patient obtain a prepayment card and how cost effective is it?

A. There are a few ways a patient can obtain a NHS prescription prepayment card and the patient could save money in certain scenarios.

With the increase in prescription charge coming into force in England from the 1 April 2015, rising 15p to £8.20, patients may save by purchasing an NHS prepayment (PPC) card.  Prescriptions have consistently risen in cost over the last several years whereas prepayment cards have not.

There are two types of prepayment card - 3 monthly and yearly.

  • £29.10 for three months. This offers a saving to anyone needing four or more items in three months.
  • £104 for a 12 month certificate. This offers a saving to anyone needing more than 13 prescription items a year.

Pharmacies can register with NHSBSA to sell these prepayment cards, making access easier for the patient.

For information on pharmacies wishing to sell prepayment cards follow this link:


An advantage of this service is that all pharmacies registered to sell prepayment cards are advertised online for patients to see.

Example savings with a Prepayment card:

Number of Prescribed items per month chargeable to patientSaving with 3 month Prepayment card (PPC)Saving with 12 month Prepayment card (PPC)
2 £20.10 £92.80
5 £93.90 £388.00

Patients can purchase a PPC online, by telephone, or directly in the pharmacy.

Web: https://apps.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/ppcwebsales/patient.do
Tel: 0300 300 1341

All pharmacies are advised to look out for their Prescription Charge card 2015 which will be sent with their march Edition of Community Pharmacy News.

Remember that all prescriptions are exempt from charges for patients in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, pharmacies in these countries need to be aware of the levy applicable to England if they receive an English prescription.