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Prescription costs

In England, many people have to pay prescription costs for drugs. 

As a young person with arthritis, it's important to check whether you are in one of the groups of people entitled to free medication. 

You do not have to pay prescription costs in England if you are:

  • under 16
  • 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education at a school, college or university
  • pregnant or have had a baby within the last 12 months
  • receiving certain benefits or your family is reciving certain tax credits.

People with certain health conditions are entitled to free medication. However, JIA isn't one of those conditions.

NHS Low Income Scheme

If you are aged 16 or over and on a low income, you may be entitled to help through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Students aged 19 and over are not automatically entitled to free prescriptions. However, many do qualify through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

The scheme is based on your income and not your parents' income - unless you live with them. You can pick up a HC1 form from a JobCentre Plus or by visiting the NHS Help with Health Costs website.

NHS prescription prepayment certificate (PPC)

If you do have to pay for your prescribed medication, it could work out cheaper to get a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).

These cover all NHS prescriptions, so could also pay for NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many you need.

You can get a PPC which lasts or three months or 12 months.

NHS Choices has detailed information about who can claim free prescribed medication, and how to apply. It also has information about PPCs.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, prescribed medication is free.


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