NHS prescription and dental charges set to increase

27 March 2017

NHS prescription charges in England are to increase by 20p to £8.60 from Saturday 1 April 2017.

The standard prescription charge pays for each medicine or appliance dispensed by a pharmacy and will increase to £8.60 for the 2017/18 tax year.

In the rest of the UK prescriptions continue to be free of charge.


The current arrangements in England allow free prescriptions for some groups of people. This includes people with certain medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy and diabetes, pregnant women and new mothers, children under 16, people over 60 and those on a low income.

The government has also frozen the cost of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) - which allow users to receive unlimited prescriptions within a set period. The three month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104.

NHS dental charges will also increase from 1 April, with the cost of a standard band one treatment (such as a check-up) rising by 90p to £20.60. A band two treatment will increase by £2.40 to £56.30 and a band three course will rise by £10.60 to £244.30.

Children, pregnant and nursing mothers and those on certain benefits remain exempt from dental charges.


A statement released by Philip Dunne, minister of state at the Department of Health, says: “The prescription charge will increase by 20p from £8.40 to £8.60 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.

“To ensure that those with the greatest need, including patients with long-term conditions, are protected, we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) for another year.”

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