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Free prescriptions for people with cancer

You can apply for a certificate to allow you to get free prescriptions if you have cancer.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

All prescriptions are free if you live in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.


There are charges for prescriptions in England. But if you have cancer, you can apply for a certificate to allow you to get free prescriptions. This is called an exemption certificate.

You qualify for an exemption certificate if you are receiving treatment for:

  • cancer
  • the effects of cancer
  • the effects of current or previous cancer treatment

You can get a form to apply for the certificate from your GP, pharmacy or your cancer clinic. Your GP or hospital doctor will need to sign the form.

The certificate lasts for 5 years. You can renew it if you are still eligible. Once you have the certificate, you won't have to pay for any prescriptions. This includes medicines that aren't related to your cancer treatment. You show the certificate to the pharmacist when you go to get your medicines.

You might not need an exemption certificate if you are already entitled to free prescriptions. For example, if you are over 60 years, or under 16 years of age, or you are receiving certain benefits.

Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or specialist nurse if you are not sure whether you are entitled to free prescriptions. They can refer you to a benefits adviser if needed.