Save hundreds on prescriptions every year!

Since it’s National Allergy Awareness Week this one should save you money, OR make you feel better about how much you’re already saving!

If you don’t have a prescription prepayment certificate yet then you should seriously consider getting one. I’ve had one for years and they are a godsend. They save me hundreds of pounds every year. And I’m not joking 😉

Why prescription prepayment certificates are a good idea

Just an average month of prescriptions for the allergic girl…

Now I’ve done a very conservative calculation here. This is based on best case; what I get when times are good. This isn’t counting those emergency visits and years when things are BAD because at the moment things are GOOD! I do hope I’m not tempting fate…

My average prescriptions in a year!

  1. Preventative inhaler – 4 per year. This is a rough estimate, depending on severity of asthma and how frequently I need to take it
  2. Instant inhaler – the one that stops an attack! 4 per year. Probably similar to the preventative as I lose them and then find I have ten all out of date in sports bags and pockets!
  3. Anti-histamines (Fexofenadine 180mg x 30) – Probably about 12 packs of these a year. A serious reaction requires more than one tablet and in summer I take one a day. They soon run out.
  4. Epaderm for my eczema- This is my regular moisturiser and is an emollient. I get huge 500g tubs and easily use one a month so that’s 12 tubs a year. I use it morning and night and sometimes in between and can wash with it too when my skin is very sensivite.
  5. Diprobase – This is great when my skin is not so bad and doesn’t need the gloopy extremes of Epaderm. I get through less of this. Probably 2-3 a year.
  6. Protopic x30g – This works wonders for my facial eczema and one small tube seems to last me at least six months so I only get two of these a year.
  7. Elocon – for serious reactions. This is my steroid of choice for eczema flare-ups. I don’t use it often, but do need it occasionally on my hands and back. I probably get through about 2-3 tubes a year.
  8. Adrenaline auto-injectors – yes we have to pay for these too! Despite that fact that this medication could save my life, I still have to pay for it and I have to get two so it’s not cheap! I probably order two a year unless I’ve had to use them during an allergic reaction. I am two years clear of using adenaline now #FingersCrossed

So some months I’m getting a huge bag with seven items in it. The pharmacy at my local surgery know me and the first thing they say is,

“Is it a large bag?”

Because these are stored in a different area to those who only need a small bag. I am most definitely a ‘large bag’ customer!

I’ve done the maths and it’s about 40 items a year.
Just remembering to order them and collect the stuff every month is wearing. I often forget to put in a prescription request until I’ve run out of something which is exactly when you need it the most. It takes a few days to process requests so you need to be organised.

So… if one prescription costs £8.40 and I need 40 items, that would cost a whopping £336.00. That’s a lot of money! I’m sure some years I need far more than this but let’s not think about that.

What is a prescription prepayment certificate?

I get a prescription prepayment certificate every year. I buy a 12 month certificate which costs me £104.00. You can pay this in monthly installments if you want. You can also get a 3 month or 6 month certificate if you prefer.

So you only need to be requesting 12 items to start saving money!

If you don’t have one of these please consider getting one. Having allergies is expensive enough. Don’t pay more than you need to.

Visit the NHS website to find out more about saving money on your prescriptions.

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Hi Ruth

    This is great post about raising awareness. As a pharmacist, I have often intervened when I’ve noticed someone has paid for a large prescription for a chronic condition. I would like to think that all counter staff are trained to point this out but as pharmacies are getting busier, it can be easily missed. Another one that’s not commonly known about on your link above is help for students or anyone on a low income.


    • Thanks Michelle. Yes it’s not really commonly known about. You have to be told, and it was a kind pharmacist I think who gave me the form. I did have one years ago when I was younger but it was very hard then to find the form and get it sorted. Now it’s so easy, and it renews every year so no excuse.

  2. Did they throw in the Rick Astley cassette for free? 😉

    • Ah Rick Astley… my teenage heartthrob. I hadn’t realised that was there till I loaded up the image onto my blog and then I thought, oh what the hell. Let’s give Rick some PR. I went to his concert last month and my mum just dug out this old cassette. I love Rick Astley!

  3. I Morris says:

    Hi Ruth when i was at work i used the prepaid prescription service as on a bad month if i were to order everything i have on prescription 25 items it would cost me approx £210 per month
    which equates to £ 2500.00 per year so i think i certainly saved over the years by only paying £10.00 per month by direct debit. Fortunately now i do not work due to ill health i am glad i do not have to pay or i would still be using the prepaid service.
    Kind regards Ian

    • Thanks Ian. Glad you also made use of this service and my that is quite some saving! It still seems like a lot of money for the prepayment card, but when you add it up it’s a lot of savings. Many of the drugs prescribed must cost more than the prescription charge but often they are not expensive drugs, like the Epaderm, I’m pretty sure that is cheap as chips to buy.

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