Asthma UK community forum

Cost of Prescription Drugs

I was just wondering how everyone manages to pay for prescription drug costs in the UK. In Canada the drugs are very expensive but most people either have drug plans that cover most or all of the drug costs through their employers insurance or government drug plans. I do happen to know a couple of people who are very low income but not considered low enough for government plans and don't have a work one, I know that this family sometimes goes without for the sake of the drugs. I am very fortunate that my husbands company pays for all of our children's medications, ambulance services and hospital stays. With 2 children with asthma and also my husband has it too, we would not be able to afford the medication without insurance.

3 Replies

If you don't qualify for free prescriptions (usually if you're a child, in full time education or low income - not sure of anything else as haven't had a free prsecription since I left uni about 8 years ago!) here and you get lots of prescriptions, the best thing to do is to get a pre-payment certificate - either once a year or each quarter - you can then get as many prescriptions as you want for the one payment. I find this works really well, as it's a lump sum up front once a year (not nice but what else are credit cards for!!) and then you don't need to worry - especially when you come out of the docs with a prescription for about 5 or 6 different things in one go! It also works out a lot cheaper.



On the National Health Service every UK resident is entitled to prescriptions at vastly subsidised cost. Each item (usually one or two months supply) is charged at £6.65 regardless of the cost of the medication, which might range from a few pence, for a generic antibiotic such as ampicillin, to tens or even hundreds of pounds. Many GPs will give a private prescription for medication that actually costs less than £6.65, so that you pay the exact cost if it is less than the prescription charge.

Children, pensioners and those on most benefits are entitled to free prescriptions and pay nothing for them. For the rest of us, if you require more than 14 items in 12 months, it's cheapest to get a prepayment certificate, which costs £95.30 per year, for as many prescriptions as you need.

It's one of the many reasons why we are lucky to have a National Health Service.


If you live in Wales u get free prescriptions if ur 25 or under.....


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