North East Connected

Digital prescription prepayment certificate uptake hits 1m mark

The number of customers applying online for a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) has hit the one million mark, saving more than £390,000 for the NHS so far.

A PPC lets the holder get as many NHS prescriptions as they need for a set price. If someone regularly pays for prescriptions, a PPC could save them money.

Applying for a digital certificate online is quick, easy and best of all it is instant. This means it can be purchased quickly if someone suddenly needs to collect several prescriptions at once and use it at the pharmacy straight away. Previously, a paper application would take up to 19 days to process.

The prescription charge in England is £9 per item. A prepayment certificate costs £29.10 for three months or £104 for 12 months. So people who buy two prescriptions per month save over £20 a month with a three month certificate, and over £110 with a 12 month certificate.

Customers can apply online at, online with a registered pharmacy, or if they need extra help to complete their application, by calling the NHSBSA Contact Centre on 0300 330 1341.

Brendan Brown, Director of Citizen Services at NHS Business Services Authority said: “I am pleased that our digital prepayment certificates have been so popular. We listened to patients who needed more than one prescription per month and they told us they’d like to be able to purchase a certificate more quickly and conveniently. We’re saving time and effort as well as money for our customers.

“We’ve also already made a significant positive environmental impact; and plastic and paper continue to be phased out. A million plastic cards would have ended up as all plastics do, polluting our marine life, our countryside and our waterways for many years to come.”

NHSBSA advises before buying a prepayment certificate, people should first check if they qualify for an exemption – they could avoid paying for a prescription entirely. It only takes about three minutes to check eligibility, just visit the NHSBSA website at .

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