Jeremy Vine: Caller slams calls to scrap free over 60s prescriptions
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A prepayment certificate (PPC) is used by many individuals who are not eligible for free prescriptions on the NHS. Using a PPC, Britons are able to claim as many prescriptions they need for a set price which could be helpful for those on repeat prescriptions. Currently, a prepayment certificate costs an individual £30.25 for a three month period or £108.10 for 12 months.
In comparison, the present prescription charge per item in England is £9.35. Those living in Scotland and Wales do not need to pay.
It is used primarily by people who have to take out multiple prescriptions per month and are looking to avoid the cost.
For someone who does not have a certificate and requires three prescriptions per month, this would cost £340 if no PPC is bought.
The majority of those in need of NHS medication choose to purchase a PPC online as they are digital certificates.
READ MORE: 70 health conditions qualify for extra £156 a week in PIP from DWP
On top of this, registered pharmacies are able to see prepayment certificates online if an email address is given.
One of the reasons households will be looking to save is due to the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK.
As it stands, the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation has returned to a 40-year high of 10.1 percent.
Furthermore, the average household energy bill has risen 27 percent as of last month even with the introduction of Government support.
Combined, these factors are placing unprecedented financial pressure on families which is pushing them to look for savings on their prescription charges.
Stuart Gale, the chief pharmacist at the Oxford Online Pharmacy, noted that many Britons will be looking to reduce unnecessary spending when it comes to their vital medications.
Mr Gale said: “With everyone’s costs rising at the moment, prescription and medicine charges are one great cost-cutting area that shouldn’t be overlooked to help save money on your health needs.
“While prescriptions are free in the rest of the UK, for those in England they cost £9.35 for every item.
“If you’re prescribed more than three items, or require at least one prescription a month for a long period a prepayment certification is a big saver as these have a capped fee.
“This not only saves money, but helps you to budget a fixed cost – especially if you need further additional prescriptions during the year.”
The medical expert cautioned the public on checking their eligibility for free prescriptions first before taking out a PPC.
He added: “Consumers in England should first check if they can qualify for any free prescriptions – this can include Medical Exemption Certificates ‘MEDEX’ for conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroid and cancer.
“Prescribed contraceptives are also free or if you’re pregnant, or gave birth in the last year a Maternity Exemption Certificate ‘MATEX’ will provide free medicines.
“You’re also entitled to free prescriptions if you’re under 16 or over 60, in full-time education aged 16-18, you’re an NHS inpatient, on income support, jobseeker’s allowance or Universal Credit – so check with your pharmacist if you could qualify.”
Among the qualifying health conditions for someone to be eligible for free prescriptions include:
Applications for either the MedX or MatX certificates can be completed by claimants online.
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