Prescription charges and exemptions

Prescriptions in Scotland are free.

Prescription forms from Wales, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man will be dispensed for free in Scotland.

English prescription forms

Prescription forms from England will be charged at the current English rate of £9.65 per item, unless you are entitled to free prescriptions in England.

If you’re exempt from charges, the pharmacy may ask you to show evidence that you’re entitled to your free NHS prescriptions.

Medical exemption certificate

Patients living with certain medical conditions will continue to be eligible to apply for a medical exemption certificate and receive free NHS prescriptions in England.

If you do have one of these conditions and require a prescription to be dispensed in England you will benefit from holding a medical exemption certificate. For patients who do not have these requirements, there is no need to apply for a medical exemption certificate.

Contact your GP practice and request a Medical Exemption (EC92A) form to be completed by your GP. Your GP is required to complete the EC92A to verify that you have a medical condition that entitles you to free NHS prescriptions.

You and your GP are required to complete the form and you must make suitable arrangements to complete the patient’s part of the form.

Expired certificates

If your medical exemption certificate expires and you are under the age of 60, contact your GP practice and ask them to complete an EC92A form. You and your GP must sign the form and the appropriate medical condition must be ticked. After the form has been completed, send the form to the appropriate Exemption department, according to your NHS Board area:

  • Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire and Western Isles to Practitioner Services (Medical), Meridian Court, 5 Cadogan Street, Glasgow, G2 6QE
  • Borders, Fife, Forth Valley and Lothians to Practitioner Services (Medical), Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
  • Grampian, Highland, Orkney, Shetland and Tayside to Practitioner Services (Medical), Bridge View, 1 North Esplanade West, Aberdeen, AB11 5QF

Patients who are age 60 and over are not required to renew their medical exemptions certificates. You are still entitled to your NHS prescriptions free of charge.

Maternity exemption certificate

A maternity exemption certificate is a certificate for expecting mothers and mothers who have borne a child within the previous 12 months. The certificate entitles you to free NHS prescriptions and dental treatment in the UK for the duration of the certificate.

A maternity exemption application form can be obtained from:

  • your GP
  • your midwife
  • NHS hospital doctor

These professionals have to complete the maternity exemption application form. It’s then sent to the appropriate Practitioner Services Exemptions Department.

The Exemption Department will then process the application form. Your exemption certificate will be sent to you by post.

Replacing a lost maternity exemption certificate

Please contact the appropriate Practitioner Services Exemptions Department in the Medical Contact Details section if you have lost your maternity exemption certificate and need to replace it.

You can request either a duplicate medical or maternity exemption certificate to be sent out by post to your home address.

Maternity exemption certificate validity if your baby is stillborn

Your certificate is valid if, within the last 12 months, you have given birth to a live child or a child registered as stillborn under the Regulations of Birth, Death & Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965.

Free NHS dental treatment with a maternity exemption certificate

You can get free NHS dental treatment if, you’re pregnant or have borne a child within the 12 months before the treatment starts. Your maternity exemption certificate will be accepted by your NHS dental practice as evidence that you’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

Last updated:
13 June 2023

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