Martin Lewis Advises NHS Prescription Buyers To Try 1 Thing After Payment Changes

It's especially useful if you're on regular, or multiple, medications.
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Martin Lewis has given advice to people who pay for NHS medications, especially those on regular medications or multiple medications.

The cost of NHS medications is set to rise on May 1, at £9.90 an item for people who pay for their prescriptions. That’s a 25p increase.

You can check to see if you’re eligible for free prescriptions from the NHS here, but if you’re not, money expert Martin Lewis has some advice that may help some to handle the increased charges.

Which is?

You can save money, particularly if you’re on multiple or regular medications, by getting a prescription subscription. You’ll get a pre-payment certificate (PPC).

There are three-month and 12-month options. For instance, if you’re on multiple medications, you could save up to £123.10 for two medications on a 12-month PPC.

The more medications you’re on, the higher the savings can be. Of course, if you rarely buy meds from the NHS, there’s probably no reason to purchase the plan.

However after submitting a Freedom of Information request, MoneySavingExpert found that almost a million people in the UK who were on regular or multiple meds missed out on the savings.

“In the 2022/23 financial year, 952,874 people in England missed out on combined savings of £39.5 million – working out to be around £42 each – after paying for 16 items on average without a season ticket,” the site found.

Therefore Martin Lewis urged people back in February, “We need to spread the word to anyone in England who regularly gets prescriptions – including some with chronic illnesses – to check out prepayment certificates.”

You can pay a 12-month PPC in ten installments, and all PPCs can be paid in full via card payment or at a pharmacy.

The money-saving guru advised people to get going now

Purchasing a PPC before the price changes may be cheaper as the cost won’t have risen yet, Lewis advises.

“Do it sooner rather than later; there’s still a chance the price of these season tickets may rise in April. If so, doing it now would mean you pay less for longer,” he warned earlier in the year.

“My simple rule of thumb is if you get more than one prescription a month on average, a prepayment certificate is the cheapest option as it caps what you pay,” he added.

You can buy a PPC online through this form, by calling 0300 330 1341, or by asking at your pharmacy (not all pharmacies do them, but many offer it).

And for any medication you buy before your PPC arrives, you should be able to request a refund via an NHS FP57 refund form available from the pharmacy that dispenses your medication.