Martin Lewis urges Britons to check if they can save £100 on NHS prescriptions

Martin Lewis viewer reveals success with pension credit

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Over one million people in England could have saved £40 on average, in the 12 months to April 2021. In the 2020/21 financial year, 1,063,648 people paid for at least 12 prescriptions in the 2020/21 financial year, purchasing 16 on average, NHSBSA figures from a Freedom of Information (FOI) show.

They could have benefitted from a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) – a “season ticket” which covers the cost of all pharmacy-dispensed medication for one year.

An annual PPC for that year cost £106, while a single prescription cost £9.15 at the time.

These certificates can be a money saver for those with multiple, chronic prescriptions, however those who just receive the odd one medication every few months could end up paying more with this certificate.

The prepayment certificate can be purchased for a three month or one year period, and helps to cover the cost of pharmacy dispensed medication over either three months or one year.

Martin Lewis, founder of, noted England is the only one of the four UK nations to charge for prescriptions.

He said it’s “frustrating to hear that many people are still paying more than they need to”.

He added: “We need to spread the word to anyone who regularly gets prescriptions – including some with chronic illnesses – to check out prepayment certificates.

“These season tickets cap what you need to pay, as for a one-off payment, you get unlimited prescriptions for either three months or a year.

“My simple rule of thumb is if you get more than one prescription a month on average – these are the cheapest way.

“And someone getting, say, two prescriptions a month would save over £100 a year.”

The financial journalist said he’s urging people who generally have 12 or more prescriptions per year to consider getting a PPC.

As prices tend to rise each April, although there’s not yet been any announcement regarding a potential increase for this year, Money Saving Expert suggested it may be worth looking to buy one now.

Prepayment certificates can be purchased on the NHSBSA website, by calling 0300 330 1341 or in-person at one’s pharmacy.

Research also showcased that the number of people who are missing out on savings by not having a certificate has been rising over the past six years.

2021 was the third year running with more than one million patients losing out.

The Freedom of Information request also revealed that 2,456,160 certificates, both annual and three-monthly, were purchased in the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

The costs of prescriptions in England increased last April to £9.35, with the cost of a 12 month prepayment certificate rising to £108.10.

Alternatively, a three month certificate currently costs £30.25 which can save money for those with four or more prescriptions in this time period.

The NHS online tool can also help Britons see if they are eligible for the certificate.

Additionally, the tool checks one’s entitlement to an array of potential benefits, discounts and exemptions when it comes to NHS treatments and items.

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