Your guide to the new prescription prepayment certificate for hormone replacement medicines

On 1st April 2023, the Department for Health & Social Care will introduce a new prepayment certificate to reduce the cost of NHS-prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medicines in the UK. These medicines are used to manage the symptoms of menopause.

In preparation for the change, we’ve put together this guide with answers to frequently asked questions to help you decide if a HRT PPC could save you money on your NHS HRT prescriptions.

How much does a HRT PPC cost?

The HRT prepayment certificate will cost the same as two single prescriptions (£19.30 from 1st April 2023). It’s valid for 12 months, so it will save you money if you need to pay three or more prescription charges over the course of a year. 

What menopause medicines are covered?

The prepayment certificate currently covers over 40 HRT medicines including tablets, gels, patches, pessaries, and creams. If the medicine is approved in the UK to treat the symptoms of menopause, it is covered by the HRT PPC. You can see the full list of included medicines here.

Can I not just ask for a 12-month supply from my doctor?

Sometimes when prescriptions are issued for 12 months at a time, it can cause shortages in supply. This means that medicine can be unavailable for everyone who needs it. It also means that the pharmacy needs to have enough medicine in stock with at least a 12-month expiry date, which might not be available. The HRT PPC helps to manage this by making sure that HRT prescriptions are affordable for those who pay for their NHS prescriptions, without disrupting the availability of medicines that are in high demand.

How do I know if the HRT PPC is right for me?

A HRT PPC could save you money if you pay for your NHS prescriptions and aren’t prescribed any other medicines. If you’re prescribed any other medicines, you should consider a full prescription prepayment certificate. This will cover all your NHS prescriptions, including your HRT medicines. A full prepayment certificate is available for three or 12 months. This article will help you to work out if it could save you money. You will save money with a full PPC if you pay more than 3 prescription charges in 3 months, or 11 prescription charges in 12 months.

Where can I buy a HRT prescription prepayment certificate?

Whether you need a HRT-only PPC or a full PPC to cover all your NHS prescriptions, you can purchase it through the NHS website here. If you buy a full PPC, you can choose to pay for it all at once or by 10 Direct Debit instalments. Your certificate will then be emailed to you ready to print. You can also buy your PPC in-person at your local pharmacy.

By Marie Jackson Published 30/03/2023