These pages are about benefits in the UK. If you are looking for information about benefits in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation
If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to free prescriptions in the UK. How you get this entitlement depends on which part of the UK you live in. Click on the country below to find out more.
If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to a medical exemption certificate. This allows you to get all your prescription medicines for free, not just your epilepsy medicines.
How to get free prescriptions
To claim free prescriptions, ask your GP or hospital doctor for application form FP92A. This is the application form for a medical exemption certificate. Once you have filled in the form, the hospital doctor, GP or a member of staff at your GP surgery will sign to confirm that the information you have given is correct. They will then send for an exemption certificate for you.
This will entitle you to free prescriptions anywhere in the UK.
Renewing your medical exemption certificate
Medical exemption certificates last 5 years. It is your responsibility to renew your certificate, so keep an eye on the expiry date. The NHS should send you a reminder one month before the expiry date, but don’t rely on this. To renew your certificate, ask your doctor to submit another FP92A form. If you don’t renew your certificate and continue to use it to get free prescriptions, you could be fined up to £100.
Reclaiming prescription costs
You will have to pay for your prescriptions until you have your exemption certificate, but you can claim the money back. To do this, ask the pharmacist for an FP57 receipt and refund claim form when you pay for the prescription. When you receive your exemption certificate the start date will be one month before you applied for it. You will be able to claim the money back for any prescriptions you paid for after the start date. There is information on form FP57 that tells you how to claim the money back.
If you paid for a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) and have become exempt from paying for prescriptions, you may be able to get some or all of the money back for your PPC.
An explanation of how to claim a refund for your PPC fee can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority website. You can also get the leaflet from the Department of Health publications order line on 0300 123 0849.
Using a prescription from England in other parts of the UK
If you need to get an English prescription dispensed from a pharmacy in Wales or Scotland, you can use your medical exemption certificate to get it for free. All UK prescriptions are dispensed free of charge in Northern Ireland.
For more information about medical exemption certificates visit the NHS website or call 0300 330 1341.
If you are registered with a GP in Wales and get your prescription medicines from a pharmacy in Wales, you will get them for free.
If you live in Wales but are registered with a GP in England you will be issued with an entitlement card. This allows a prescription issued in England to be dispensed at a pharmacy in Wales for free.
Using a prescription from Wales in other parts of the UK
You can get a Welsh prescription dispensed for free at any pharmacy in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you need to get a Welsh prescription dispensed at a pharmacy in England you will need to pay, unless you have a medical exemption certificate.You can apply for a refund from the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.
To apply for a medical exemption certificate, ask your doctor for form FP92W (Wales).
If you are registered with a GP in Scotland and get your prescription medicines from a pharmacy in Scotland, you will get them for free.
If you live in Scotland but are registered with a GP practice in England you may apply for an Entitlement Card. This allows a prescription issued in England to be dispensed at a pharmacy in Scotland for free. Ask your GP for a form.
Using a prescription from Scotland in other parts of the UK
You can get a Scottish prescription dispensed for free at any pharmacy in Wales and Northern Ireland. If you need to get a Scottish prescription dispensed at a pharmacy in England you will need to pay, unless you have a medical exemption certificate. To get a medical exemption certificate, ask your GP to complete a Medical Exemption (EC92A) form.
All NHS prescriptions are free of charge in Northern Ireland.
Using a prescription from Northern Ireland in other parts of the UK
Prescriptions issued in Northern Ireland can be dispensed free of charge in any part of the UK. And prescriptions issued in any part of the UK can be dispensed free of charge in Northern Ireland.
Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for support with benefits.
This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.
- Updated April 2020To be reviewed April 2021