Prescription cost increased to £9.00 per item dispensed.
Advice for patients

How much does Prescription cost?

From 1st of April 2019, NHS prescription cost is £9.00 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.

There is no price increase for Prescription pre-payment certificates (PPCs). Patients who take two or more drugs on regular basis can save money with PPC.


I have two or more different drugs prescribed on one NHS prescription. How many charges do I have to pay?

  • Two or more. Prescription cost equals to number of different drugs dispensed. Patients pay for each drug dispensed on NHS prescription, unless a drug is prescribed in the same form at different strength.

I have the same drug in different strength prescribed on one NHS prescription e.g. Sertraline 50mg tablets and Sertraline 100mg tablets. Whats is the prescription cost? 

  • Total prescription cost = One prescription charge. Same drug, prescribed in the same form (e.g. tablets) and in different strength on the same NHS prescription carries one NHS charge.

I have the same drug prescribed twice, but in different form on one NHS prescription. For example venlafaxine 75mg tables and venlafaxine 100mg capsules. How many NHS charges do I have to pay?

  • Total prescription cost = Two charges. Same drug prescribed in different form carries two different charges.

I was prescribed same drug in same form on two different NHS prescriptions. How many charges do I have to pay?

In practice I have seen many times doctors prescribing the same medication (different strength) on two different prescriptions. In this case patients have to pay two separate charges. .

I was prescribed Canesten Combi pessary & cream on NHS prescription. How many charges do I have to pay?

Total prescription cost = Two charges.

For some products like Canesten combination products it would be cheaper to buy them over the counter then paying two prescription charges.

Some products / drugs carry two or more NHS prescription charges, even though they come in one box.

Some common drugs that carry two charges include:

  • Canesten Combi Pessary & Cream
  • Canesten Oral & Cream Duo
  • Migraleve (combination pack)
  • Evorel Sequi patches
  • Femoston 1/10mg
  • Femoston 2/10mg
  • FemSeven Sequi patches

For list of all multiple charge items visit PSNC website.

Is contraceptive free on NHS prescription?


However there is an exception to this rule. Some drugs such as Co-cyprindiol 2000mcg/35mcg tablets can be used for other non-contraceptive reasons, to treat acne for example. Patients may have to pay prescription charge even if prescribed medication is used for contraceptive reason, unless prescribed endorsed the prescription with “CC”, “OC” or the female symbol.




I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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