Our guide to using the new HRT Prepayment Certificate: your top questions answered

May 10, 2023
6 minute read

Since 1 April 2023 a new Prepayment Prescription Certificate (PPC) has been available for patients taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) medication. For eligible patients, the HRT PPC is intended to help save on prescription costs, which can potentially be up to hundreds of pounds per year.  

Now the scheme is in operation, you’ve been telling us about how you’ve been using it, and some of the queries and challenges you’ve encountered. If you’re already using the HRT PPC, or are thinking about buying one, explore our easy-to-read guide.  

1. What is the HRT PPC and do I qualify?

The HRT PPC is issued by the NHS Business Services Authority. Unlike the “classic” PPC that covers all types of medications, the HRT PPC has been designed specifically for people taking HRT medications.  

The HRT PPC covers medicines that are used to treat menopause in the UK, but also a range of other conditions. Regardless of the condition being treated, if your medication is on the list, you’re eligible to buy an HRT PPC.  

To see if you qualify, check if your HRT medication is included on this list. Not all HRT medications are on the qualifying list, so it’s important to check before you buy.  

2. What if I already have a valid NHS exemption or other PPC?

If you have an active NHS exemption this will cover the cost of all your medication and there’s no need to buy an HRT PPC.  

Likewise, if you have already purchased a “classic” PPC, this will cover the cost of all your medication, so you won’t need to buy an additional HRT PPC. If your current PPC is about to expire and your medications are on the HRT PPC list, then it may be worthwhile to consider buying an HRT PPC next.  

The HRT PPC is best suited if you’re only taking HRT medication and your medications are included in the eligible medications list.

3. Where can I purchase the HRT PPC?

If you’ve checked the list of medications included and confirmed that you’re eligible for the certificate, you can purchase the HRT certificate directly via the NHS Business Services Authority website.  

It will be valid for 12 months from the issue date for a price of £19.30, this is equivalent to two NHS prescription charges. (Prices may change in the future and are set by the NHS Business Services Authority).

4. Why was I unable to use my HRT PPC for a prescription containing an HRT item?  

If your GP writes a prescription that contains a paid-for item and an item covered by an HRT PPC, you might find your pharmacist is unable to dispense this under the HRT PPC scheme.  

If this happens to you, you’ll need to request that your GP writes two separate prescriptions - one for the paid-for item(s), and one for the item(s) covered by your HRT PPC. This is because pharmacies are unable to process prescriptions that contain paid-for items and items covered by a HRT PPC.  

Depending on the non-HRT medications you take, it might be more beneficial to purchase a “classic” PPC which will cover the costs of all your medications.  

Useful resources

Phlo blog - How to save money with an NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate

NHS Business Services Authority - NHS Hormone Replacement Therapy Prescription Prepayment Certificate (HRT PPC)

NHS Business Services Authority - Medicines covered by the HRT PPC

NHS - NHS prescription charges

NHS - Save money with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)

Do you have any additional questions about purchasing an HRT PPC? Get in touch with our friendly pharmacy team who can offer you guidance and advice.

Content last reviewed on:
May 10, 2023
Next review date:
May 10, 2025
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