In the UK we are really lucky to have the NHS and access to free healthcare. One thing a lot of people do have to pay for is prescriptions, and I have recently seen people in support groups I am a member of, talking about the rising cost of this. I was shocked to read that many people end up not taking prescribed medication because they can not afford to buy them.
As a person with multiple chronic illnesses I am on multiple prescribed medications. I would seriously struggle if I did not get my prescriptions for free.
So what qualifies a person for free prescriptions?
Certain medical conditions will also qualify people for free prescriptions. You can apply for medical exemption by getting a form from your GP. These conditions include –
You may also get help with prescription costs if you are on a low income and have a HC3 certificate. Those with a HC2 certificate may be entitled to free prescriptions.
For others who are not eligible for free prescriptions, you can get a Prescription Pre–Payment Certificate (PPC). This means you can get as many scripts as you need for a set monthly price.
This will save you money even if you only have two prescriptions per month to collect so really makes a huge difference. Talk to your pharmacist about the PPC but it really is a great option for those who cannot get free prescriptions, even if you aren’t on a low income.
A box of paracetamol can cost as little as 19p in the shops, yet people will still request this on prescription because a doctor has told them to take it. This costs the NHS a fortune and is something that should not be taken advantage of. This is the same for many other medications which are readily available for less over the counter so please be aware of this and don’t take advantage. I get free prescriptions but purchase my own paracetamol as it costs so little and I am already more than grateful for what the NHS provides me with.
You should also ensure you are only ordering what you need when you request your repeat medications. I find this to be a huge problem with the ostomy community especially. Some people stockpile endless supplies of products and it really is not needed. Don’t ever leave yourself short but don’t over order to silly levels. I saw someone post a photo of her stoma supplies and she had over ten bottles of ostomy powder. I don’t use my ostomy powder at every change but would probably struggle to use an entire bottle in a year! That amount of product is just ridiculous to have lying around at home.
I hope his information is helpful to those taking regular medication and gives you further options to look into.