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People who live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have to pay for their prescriptions, no matter their age. However, people who live in England have to pay a fee of £9.35 per item. There are groups who are eligible to receive a free NHS prescription but they do need to meet specific criteria.
People who suffer from certain medical conditions or disabilities and hold a valid medical exemption card (MedEx) can get their medicine for free.
Medical exemption certificates are credit-card-size cards which people can obtain after speaking to their doctor or GP.
According to the NHS website, the conditions which are eligible for a medical exemption card include:
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The NHS website says these are the “only” conditions which are eligible and recommends Britons speak to their care team if they are unsure about the name of their condition.
To apply for a medical exemption certificate, people will need to ask their doctor for a FP92A form which will need to be signed by a person’s GP in order to confirm the statement.
The MedEx certificate lasts for five years and then needs to be renewed and the NHS website stated that it is the responsibility of the individual to make sure it is renewed at the right time.
Anyone who is pregnant is able to free prescriptions if they have a valid maternity exemption certificate, which is otherwise known as a MatX.
This certificate lasts for 12 months after the expected due date of the baby, and if the baby is born early then it can continue to be used until the certificate expires.
If the baby is born late then people are able to apply for an extension.
Women who have had a baby within the past year are also able to get this certificate to reduce their prescription charge costs.
Currently, people over the age of 60 years and under 16 can get their medicine for free, as well as young people between the age of 16 and 18 who are in full-time higher education.
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People who hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for an “accepted disability” are eligible and people who are NHS inpatients.
People can find out if they are eligible for free NHS prescriptions or help with other NHS costs through the NHS eligibility checker.
This can be found on the NHS website.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), people are entitled to free NHS prescriptions if the annual family income used to work out tax credits is £15,276 or less.
They will also be eligible if they claim Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit paid together, or Working Tax Credit including a disability element.
Partners of those who claim one of these benefits can also access the freebie.
Some Universal Credit claimants also qualify for this help towards prescription costs.
This is typically for applicants who earn £435 or less, or £935 if they have responsibility for a child.
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