Are you struggling to pay prescription charges?

  • Posted: December 21st, 2021
  • |
  • Category: Advice

The price of prescriptions has risen over the past few years and is now £9.35.

The rising price of prescriptions can cause problems for those on low incomes who may not be able to afford them and it means that some prescriptions go unclaimed. 

On the other hand, figures from the NHS show that false claims for free prescriptions are on the rise with £470,000 worth being claimed in 2020 alone. 

Prescriptions can be a challenge for those living on low incomes but there are schemes available to help. 

In England, depending on your income, you (and sometimes your partner and children) can get prescriptions free of charge if you:

  • are on Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit. If you are getting Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit, you may be entitled to free prescriptions, depending on your income

  • are 60 or over (you must show proof of age to the pharmacist)

  • have a listed medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate. Ask your GP if you think this might apply to you.

  • are having treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment and you have a valid medical exemption certificate. You get free prescriptions for all NHS medication, not just the cancer medication

  • you are on prescribed medication to prevent a pandemic disease, for example, pandemic influenza

  • have a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate

  • are under 16. You must show proof to the pharmacist

  • are still in full-time education and aged 16 to 18. You must show proof to the pharmacist

  • get a war or service disablement pension, need prescriptions for your disability and hold an exemption certificate

  • are a prisoner

  • are pregnant, or have had a baby in the last 12 months and have a valid exemption certificate. This includes if you have had a miscarriage after the 24th week of pregnancy, or your baby was stillborn

  • have got a community care order and you are expected to take medication for the treatment of your mental disorder

If you aren’t eligible for free prescriptions you can prepay for them which can save you a substantial amount of money. You can find out more on the NHS website here:

For help and guidance on health costs from Citizens Advice you can read here: 

In Morecambe and Lancaster, your local Citizen’s Advice can help you check if you’re eligible for free prescriptions, schemes/benefits, and help you fill out forms such as HC1 or Prepayment certificates. 

Citizens Advice is an independent, free, and confidential service so you can be sure that your information is safe with us. 

To find out more about us visit You can get advice by email by contacting or you can ring us free on 0808 278 7882.

  • Posted: 21/12/21
  • |
  • Category: Advice
We Are a Charity