The cost of NHS prescriptions will rise in April - this is how much you will be charged

The NHS prescription charge will increase by 15p (Photo: Shutterstock)The NHS prescription charge will increase by 15p (Photo: Shutterstock)
The NHS prescription charge will increase by 15p (Photo: Shutterstock)

Charges for prescription medication from the NHS are set to rise in April, by an increase of 15p.

The price hike comes despite the coronavirus pandemic currently putting huge pressure on the health service, but the government is yet to announce any plans to suspend or scrap the rise.

When will the new costs come in?

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The increased cost comes into effect on 1 April 2020, as it has every year, and is in line with inflation, according to the government.

The charges will only affect those who live in England, as there are currently no fees for prescriptions in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

How much will prescriptions cost?

The NHS prescription charge will increase by 15p, making the new cost £9.15 for each medication that is prescribed.

People will now be charged the new amount if they collect their prescription on or after 1 April, regardless of whether their GP issued the prescription before this date.

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Three-month prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) will also increase, rising from £29.10 to £29.65.

The cost of a 12 month PPC will go up from 1 April, from £104 to £105.90. Those who have a regular prescription may save money by paying for it using a PPC instread.

A prepayment certificate online can be purchased online, at a registered pharmacy or by calling 0300 330 1341. Anyone who lives in England can apply to get one.

Will any other costs go up?

The charges for prescription wigs, bras, fabric and spinal supports will also be increased in line with inflation, the government has said.

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Bras that are worn after surgery will now cost £30.05, and abdominal or spinal supports will rise to £45.35.

The cost of synthetic wigs will increase to £74.15, partial human hair wigs will increase to £196.40, and full bespoke human hair wigs will rise to £287.20.

The NHS said last year that the increased charges were a result of having to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings and provide £10 billion investment for the NHS by 2021.

What if I can't afford my prescription?

Certain groups are entitled to get their NHS prescriptions for free, while some prescribed items are always free, including contraceptives and medication for hospital inpatients.

You can check if you are eligible for free prescriptions on the NHS website.