Free prescriptions

You can apply for a medical exemption certificate if you have one of the following medical conditions:

  • a permanent fistula (for example, caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) which needs continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s Disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism which needs thyroid hormone replacement)
  • epilepsy which needs continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without the help of another person
  • cancer and are undergoing treatment for either:
    • cancer
    • the effects of cancer
    • the effects of cancer treatment

These are the only conditions that entitle you to a medical exemption certificate. If you’re not sure about the name of your condition, speak to your doctor.

Check you’re eligible for free prescriptions

There’s a simple way to find out if you’re eligible for free NHS prescriptions and any help with other NHS costs.

For more information on

  • How to apply
  • Refunds of prescription charges
  • Replace or renew your certificate
  • Change of circumstances
  • Information in different languages