Find out if you are entitled to free prescriptions.
You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:
- 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
You’re also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive, or you’re under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:
- 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)
People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.
Free prescriptions for certain medical conditions and pregnant women
People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions.
Medical exemption certificates are credit-card-size cards. They are issued if you have:
- 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
- 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)
If you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the past 12 months, you can also get free prescriptions if you have a valid maternity exemption certificate.
Find out more about medical exemption certificates.