The missed savings are a result of failing to buy a prescription “season ticket” – formally known as a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC). Data from the NHS Business Services Authority obtained by Money Saving Expert, 1,064,992 people paid for at least 12 prescriptions individually in the 2021/2022 financial year.
It also showed that of those who purchased 12 or more prescriptions, an average 16 items were bought – at a cost of £149.60.
However, if a person pays £9.35 for each prescription, rather than a single payment of £108.10 for 12 months of unlimited prescriptions – they end up overpaying by roughly £40 per year.
Martin Lewis explained: “England is the only one of the four UK nations that charges for prescriptions.
“So, it’s frustrating to hear that many people are still paying more than they need to – especially at a time when every penny counts towards bills.
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“If you think that’s you, check it out now in case we see another price hike at the beginning of spring.”
MSE found the last financial year is the fourth year in a row the number of patients losing out has reached over one million.
For example, in the 2021/22 year, some 1,064,992 people missed out on saving with an annual PPC.
Prescription prices typically rise each April, but they have been frozen for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years – at £9.35 per prescription.
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With this system, the more prescriptions a person requires, the more can be saved with a season ticket.
As a result, Martin Lewis has encouraged people to look into the matter now – as it’s not yet known if prescription and season ticket prices will rise for the 2023/24 financial year.
However, the expert also stresses Britons should check if paying for their prescription is necessary first.
The NHS estimates some 89 percent of prescriptions in England are provided free of charge, and people can check using the health service’s online eligibility checker tool.
Purchasing a PPC can be done online, over the phone, or at many pharmacies, and can be paid for by direct debit.