Thyroid UK
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Free prescriptions

Thought I'd just bring it to people's attention since it's something I don't think a lot of people realise. You can get free prescriptions on the NHS with a thyroid condition (medical exemption). You can ask your doc or pharmacist for a form.

It's for all prescriptions, not just thyroid ones, so comes in super handy if you're needing to take multiple supplements or anything. It saves me a bunch of money on vitamins and antibiotics! :)

14 Replies

The exemption doesn't apply to all thyroid conditions, only to myxoedema (hypothyroidism) because you have the condition for life. It doesn't apply to hyperthyroidism.


Thanks for the correction. :)



Only hypothyroid patients are exempt from prescription charges. Hyperthyroid patients are not exempt because it is assumed their condition is temporary and they will have remission. Most GPs will only prescribe vitamins and minerals to correct deficiencies and after that it is up to patients to buy their own to maintain levels.


Thanks for the correction. I always assumed hypo and hyper were the same but opposite if you get what I mean.

Oh well, in that case I will also point out pre-payment cards which can save a fair amount of money if you need regular prescriptions.


Does the medical exemption renew automatically or do you need to reapply? Mine is due to expire in august.




I think you may need to reapply. Your pharmacist or GP receptionist may be able to advise you.

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I believe you need to renew it. Appears you do that by re-applying for one. Here's a link that explains it.

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You need to reapply


I got mine sent in post when it needed renewing :) or if you move just get application of Drs receptionist to change address ..


Or move from England to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. 😏


Within the UK, "free" prescriptions only applies in England.

They are already "free" in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Many people in England are entitled to "free" prescriptions on grounds of:

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

are 60 or over

are under 16

are 16-18 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 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 don't 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)

The above, plus information for cancer patients, renal dialysis patients and all medical exemptions are here:


They are stopping all prescriptions for vitamins in my area!


This is such a controversial issue.

I have 3 NHS care workers in my family - medics. Knowing full well how frustrated and ineffective they feel because of lack of funding and lack of time I'm a great believer that those of us who can afford to pay should pay.

The NHS is not a bottomless pit and in this day and age where we are living longer and demanding more as patients we should try to recognise where we could financially help rather than hinder.

Before anyone shouts me down. I get it. Both sides of the argument. We just demand too much of it and if we don't protect it we WILL lose it and goodness then we will be in trouble.


I know this sounds like an empassioned plea but if you can afford to buy your vitamins, minerals, paracetamol. Do it.

It may just pay for another doctor. Even another Endo!!


I totally agree. I take full advantage of my exemption card at the moment because I do not earn anything and am fully dependant on my parents for everything. With the amount of medication I'm taking each month my med costs would probably come close to my food costs and my parents just can't afford that.

If/ when I have my own money though and small payments like £5 aren't a big deal I won't be so careful to make sure everything is on prescription and i'll be willing to buy my own over the counter stuff.


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