Free prescriptions: MILLIONS in UK eligible for NHS medication at no charge

An NHS England prescription currently costs £9.35 per item,
An NHS England prescription currently costs £9.35 per item,

The NHS offer free prescriptions to people who are eligible across the UK

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An NHS England prescription currently costs £9.35 per item, making it a costly necessity for those requiring multiple medications.

With the cost-of-living crisis hitting Britons and temperatures dropping across the country, many will be worrying about the amount of money leaving their accounts.

An NHS England prescription currently costs £9.35 per item, making it a costly necessity for those requiring multiple medications.
An NHS England prescription currently costs £9.35 per item, making it a costly necessity for those requiring multiple medications.

Last month, a group of leading charities warned that the NHS and social care system are in the “most perilous position in memory”.

They explained that people with long-term conditions are suffering medical emergencies as a result of being unable to heat their homes, pay for prescriptions or care costs, run their medical devices, refrigerate their medicine or maintain their diet, the authors of the group’s latest report said.

According to the NHS website the groups eligible for free medication in the UK are those who:

  • Are 60 or over
  • Are under 16
  • Are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • Are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • Have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • Have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • Hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS inpatient
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • A valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice. You qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • A valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
With the cost-of-living crisis hitting Britons and temperatures dropping across the country, many will be worrying about the amount of money leaving their accounts.
With the cost-of-living crisis hitting Britons and temperatures dropping across the country, many will be worrying about the amount of money leaving their accounts.

Those with certain medical conditions are also eligible, these include:

  • Cancer, including the effects of cancer or the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
  • A permanent fistula (for example, a laryngostomy, colostomy, ileostomy or some renal dialysis fistulas) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
  • A form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • Diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
  • Diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
  • Epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • A continuing physical disability that means you cannot go out without the help of another person (temporary disabilities do not count, even if they last for several months)