precription charges

precription charges

precription charges Can anyone tell me why prescription charges in Wales are half what they are in England? Is that fair I ask myself. OK no-one should pay prescriptions for long term conditions like cancer in my view but honestly. See below for further details:

How Much do I pay for NHS Prescriptions

As from April 1st 2006 the NHS prescription charge in Wales is £3 per item. This means that for every item listed on your prescription you will be asked to pay £3 to have it dispensed (unless you are exempt from charges – see below). This is different to England, where you will be asked to pay £6.75 for each item.

For some items you will be asked to pay 2 or even 3 charges (£6 or £9). This is because your doctor has prescribed an item that has 2 or 3 different types of tablets in one box. You are required to pay £3 for each type of tablet. This is common for HRT preparations and Helicobacter pylori triple therapy e.g. Heliclear.

This information is correct as of 1st April 2006
Prescription Charge (in Wales) £ 3.00
4 Month Pre-Payment Certificate £ 15.69
12 Month Pre-Payment Certificate £ 43.09
Spinal/abdominal Support £ 30.50
Wig Acrylic £ 49.90
Wig Partial Human Hair £ 131.50
Wig Full Human Hair £ 192.00
Stockings £ 4.00 each £ 8.00 per pair
Young people aged under 25 will be entitled to free prescriptions.

Pre-payment certificates

If you have a lot of medication it may be cheaper for you to buy a pre-payment certificate. In Wales, it costs £15.69 for a 4 month certificate and £43.09 for a 12 month certificate. Once you have paid for the certificate all the medication you are prescribed within that time slot will not be charged for at the point of dispensing. This includes your regular medication and anything extra you may need to have on prescription.

It will be cheaper for you to have a pre-payment certificate if you are prescribed more than 5 items in 4 month or more than 14 items in 12 months.

You can only use the prepayment certificate for your own NHS prescriptions. The certificate will start from the date your application is received unless you ask for a different start date. This can be up to one month earlier or one month later than the date your application is received.

An application form for a pre-payment certificates can be picked up in your local community pharmacy or from your Local Health Board. An application form is also available at main Post Offices.

Am I entitled to free prescriptions?

You can get free NHS prescriptions if at the time the prescription is dispensed you:

Are aged 60 or over;

Are under the age of 25;

Are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid exemption certificate.

Have a continuing physical disability, which means you cannot go out without the help of another person and have a valid exemption certificate

Are getting, or your partner gets:Income Support, or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or People Credit guarantee credit;

Are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate;

Are named on a valid HC2 certificate;

Are a war pensioner, the prescription is for your pensionable disablement and you have a valid war pension exemption certificate.

Have one of the following medical conditions and have a valid exemption certificate.

Epileptics requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy A permanent fistula (for example caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance.

Forms 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


What if I am unsure if I can get free prescriptions?

If you are unsure if you can get free prescriptions read leaflet HC11. Available from pharmacies, some doctors’ surgeries and main post offices, or click on the following link.

ooooh dont get me started on that one!

In a nut shell it is totally unfair and makes no sense what so ever.

I work part-time since dx, and as I earn about £5.00 over the limit I am not entitled to free prescriptions. I get 3 prescriptions a month and there are times when I really feel I just cant afford it, especially when my PCT will not allow my GP to prescibe for more than one month of pills at a time. The PCT says that they have introduced this to try and put a stop to wasted drugs. But I’m stuck on tamoxifen for the next five years and its unlikely that I will have to stop taking them anytime soon. Nothing to do with making more money then!

I really think Cancer patients should be exempt. The Goverment will be meeting in June to look at changing the current prescription system in England. In the mean time I would urge you to sign the BCB petition for free prescriptions for cancer patients.


the answer as to why Wales…could equally be Why Scotland…

in both cases the Labour government in the Welsh (Scottish) Assembly is much more radical than what passes as Labour under Tony Blair.


prescription charges wales I agree that all prescriptions should be free whether it be in England, Wales or Scotland, I’m lucky in that I live in Wales.

See below for some info you might find useful:

Free prescriptions will be introduced in Wales on Sunday, 1 April,

Prescription charges in Wales have been gradually reduced in line with the Welsh Assembly Government commitment to make them free by April 2007. Currently prescriptions cost £3 in Wales.

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons said that free prescriptions should particularly benefit those people with chronic illnesses or who are on low incomes.

"The main reason for providing free prescriptions was to ensure people are not put off getting medication they need due to cost. This will therefore enable those people who need medication to get it to improve their health and ultimately their quality of life.

"While this will benefit everyone who currently pays for prescriptions in Wales, it should particularly benefit those people on modest incomes or who have chronic illnesses, who may not have previously been eligible for free prescriptions under the complicated exemption system.

"This is the simplest and most effective way of resolving health inequalities and those inconsistencies in prescribing. The move removes all the unfairness surrounding the present outdated 1968 exemption system where, for example, a diabetes patient automatically gets all prescriptions free but a cystic fibrosis sufferer doesn’t.

“Those who are entitled to free prescriptions are people registered with a Welsh GP or Welsh patients who have an English GP with an accompanying entitlement card who get their prescriptions from a Welsh pharmacist.”


The price of prescriptions was frozen at £6 in Wales in 2001.
Prescriptions were then cut to £5 in October 2004, followed by a further reduction of £1 in April 2005 taking the cost to £4. They were reduced to £3 in April 2006.
Currently prescriptions are only free for those people under 25 and over 60 or who have certain medical conditions.
Research shows that many people are put off taking regular medication that would help them live healthier lives because of the cost of paying for regular prescriptions. If patients cannot afford the medicines they need to treat their condition, the long-term costs to the NHS could be far greater in terms of avoidable hospital treatment. Making prescriptions free for all is a simple way of addressing this issue.


Insist on 3 months supply ! Hi,
I won’t bore you with the details but I battled and won a fight with my PCT to supply 3 months Tamoxifen and now Arimidex . My main argument was that they happily supplied the contraceptive pill and HRT on 3 monthly prescriptions so why was I being treated differently.
Might be worth using the same argument as I suspect they will issue 3 or 6 monthly prescriptions for both the ‘Pill’ and HRT.
good luck !

Mole I was astounded to read in the paper today that prescriptions are going to be free for all in Wales from April this year. After all, English taxpayers are partly funding this, I have no doubt!

How do we get Welsh citizenship? This thread has really provoked me - besides having bc I also have Crohn’s which has never been considered to be a chronic disease like diabetes, asthma,etc. snd able to get the drugs we need to survive. on prescription. I have always had to pay for my 4 or more drugs each month, until now, luckily I am 62 yrs old and can get my prescriptions free. What a bummer - when I could have done with that support financially for the last 35 yrs.

I think we should start a lobby for free prescriptions for bc - it is no more nor less, than life threatening than asthma etc.

Well, it just make you think about moving to Wales or Scotland, where they are much more attuned to our needs.

Breast Cancer Care campaign re:prescription charges Hi all
You may be interested to know about a campaign which is being run by Breast Cancer Care about prescription charges. You can read more via the following link or look under the ‘Campaigning’ tab for more information:

Kind regards
BCC Host

prescriptions When I was taking tamoxifen it was £2.75 a box on a private precription which was a lot less than the set fee. This is one of the cheapest drugs unlike arimidex which retails at over £80 a box.
GP’s can write private prescritions and will have all the info on which drugs are actually cheaper privately. The NHS makes quite a tidy profit from us ladies,by getting private prescriptions you only pay the actual cost of the drug which for tamoxifen is quite a saving but for the aromatase inhibitors you are better staying with the NHS.

No free prescriptions for asthma Hi Lizzie,

On a point of information, asthma is not considered life-threatening enough to qualify for free prescriptions. As a life-long asthmatic I must have spent a fortune on prescription charges for my 3 different inhalers. Add to them Arimidex and 2 prescriptions to counter its side-effects, plus ointment for chronic eczema and you can see why I was glad to turn 60 last year!


How naive am I?! Until I read this thread I didnt even think about being charged for Tamoxifen. The doc told me after my treatment Ill have to go on tamoxifen for five years (Im sure everyone else is in the same boat) but not once did I think about being charged for it! Does anyone know how long one presciption lasts? I need to work out if ill need a bank loan!!
Em xx

Hi Em

Most GPs only seem to prescribe two months of Tamoxifen at a time - think it’s all to do with PCT guidelines. I’ve just changed from Tamoxifen to Arimidex and because Arimidex is about ten times the cost of Tamoxifen, my GP will only prescribe one month at a time! In fairness, she did say that when I had been taking Arimidex for 3 months, she would review the situation. I know it’s a pain but if it does the trick, then I suppose I’m happy to pay although it does seem unfair that we’d be a lot better off if we lived in Wales!

Jo x

Emmalou I was similarly naive! I couldn’t believe I had to pay for the antisickness drugs that were part of the chemo regime because they were going out of the hospital with me, and although my oncologist wrote up the prescription for 6 sessions worth, the hospital pharmacy would only give me one month’s worth at a time so I had to pay 6 lots of charges!

Northern Ireland We also pay high prices for prescriptions over here.


I am all in a daze over all this, blimey you would have thought being Dx with Bc you would have got your drugs free, but we dont.

I wonder how many of you get prescriptions for 1 month 2 or 6 from your Gp for tamoxifen or arimadex…

I got 3 months from the hosp then 2 months from my GP. i am not working and cannot afford prescriptions every two months.
the next repreat perscription i am going to insist on a 4-6 monthly repeat perscription.

Ruth x

Hi Ruth When I was on tamoxifen 7 years ago, I used to get 3 months supply at a time. Now I’m on Arimidex I can only get one month at a time, unless I’m going to be away ewhen the pack runs out, in which case I get 2 months. I asked my GP whether it was because Arimidex is so much more expensive than tamoxifen, but he said no.

Apparently it is now NHS best practice only to prescribe one month’s supply at a time to prevent waste. If for any reason you have to come off the drug and still have a lot unused, they can’t take it back and give it to someone else. I realise that where tamoxifen is concerned, some GPs are being more flexible than this, but not usually with Arimidex.

If you need regular prescriptions for other things as well as tamoxifen, might it not be cheaper for you to get get a prepayment form? You can get the details at your GP’s surgery.


Tamoxifen When I first went on Tamoxifen, my GP would only give me one month’s supply a time. When I changed doctors, he gave me a prescription every 2 months.
The reason for not giving us a longer prescription is because the NHS says it would be a waste if we decided to stop taking the prescription, and threw months of our drug away.
Obviously they were not thinking of us who have to take it for 5 years.
I was glad to come off it after 5 years.
Ruth, I am sure that the others will be interested to know if you are successful in getting your doctor to give you a 4-6 month prescription.

David S

how do they know we will throw it away I couldn’t be bothered with all the hassle of going off to get prescriptions let alone the cost of something that gave me side effects of constant constipation. So I gave up tamoxifen after about two years.

Mind you I have been told I have low grade cancer with no lymph node spread. If I’d had high grade I think I might have thought differently and gone on with it.

The cost did get on my nerves but I insisted they give me three months supply at a time and they did, perhaps because that meant I didn’t come round to the surgery very often


Prescription charges - free drugs It is interesting how different PCT’s and hospitals deal with prescribing drugs for cancer. I am officially a pensioner now (62 yrs) and although I don’t have to pay for prescriptions, my GP will only give me monthly prescriptions for Arimidex, and the hospital will only send my weekly chemo (methotrexate) injections to the local surgery on a monthly basis.

However, I was 58 yrs when I got bc so not entitled to free prescriptions. My hospital (Plymouth) ordered the anti-sickness meds along with the 3 weekly chemo each time I attended the Oncology Dept for treatment. A porter used to go and collect the drugs from the Pharmacy Dept - a long walk from the Oncology Dept. These were all free, along with mouthwash (Cordosyl) and anti-thrush (Nystatin) lozenges. As I had problems with my Crohn’s the Onc prescribed daily dexamethasone for the 6 months of chemo. When I took the prescription to the pharmacy and offered to pay, they said ALL drugs were free for patients with any kind of cancer. I also had infections and the antibiotics, supplied by the hospital, were free.

I am surprised, and shocked that bc patients in other areas of the country are having to pay for live-saving meds. Why can’t the NHS treat us all the same? After all, our taxes, which I still pay as a pensioner, go into the national pot. Defies logical belief at times.