The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that from 1st April 2023, the NHS prescription charge will increase to £9.65 per prescription item (note: some items may incur more than one charge).

Amendments to the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations have been laid before Parliament which will introduce changes for NHS prescription charge and prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs), as well as the introduction of the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) PPC.

The cost of PPCs has also increased, with the price of a three-month PPC at £31.25 (an increase of £1.00) and a 12-month PPC at £111.60 (an increase of £3.50). PPCs offer savings for those needing four or more items in three months, or 12 or more items in a year.

The recently announced HRT PPC will cost £19.30 (the cost of two prescription charges). Please note that whilst the HRT PPC was originally announced as costing £18.70, this has increased to reflect the rise in the prescription charge. This PPC can only be used when a patient is prescribed a listed HRT medicine.

Prescription charge type
Previous charge (up to 31st March 2023)
New charge (1st April 2023 onwards)
Increase of
Single charge (per prescription item)
HRT PPC (valid for 12 months)
3-month PPC
12-month PPC

The Government states that these increases are in line with inflation.

Charge Card

PSNC is in the process of updating its charge card and PPC poster. These will be available on our website in due course.

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“The rise in prescription charge will once again hit the most vulnerable patients the hardest and it will continue to put community pharmacy teams in an impossible position – it is not our job to police a tax that many people cannot afford, and we should not have to help patients to make unbearable decisions about which medicines to pay for. While Government and the NHS have deemed it acceptable to put inflationary increases on their charges to patients, they refuse to offer community pharmacies any help at all with inflationary pressures: why is it one rule for us and another for them?”

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