Prescriptions and cancer - Maggie's Centres

Prescriptions and cancer

Having cancer affects people in many ways. As well as the emotional and physical impact, there are additional financial costs. 

It is a time when you are likely to be prescribed medications to help with your cancer and its treatment. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, prescriptions are free for everyone. In England, whilst most people are charged for prescriptions, if you have cancer you won’t have to pay.

This page will explain how to apply for an exemption certificate, so that you don’t have the added worry of medication costs.

Cancer and prescriptions

If you have cancer there are likely to be times when you need prescription medications. They may be prescribed to help with treating the effects of cancer, or the side effects of current or previous cancer treatment.  

Whilst in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescription charges are free, in England there is usually a prescription charge for medications. (Unless you’re under 16, over 60, or in receipt of certain types of benefits).

However, in England, If you are diagnosed with cancer, you are entitled to free prescriptions.  You will need to apply for an exemption certificate .  You can get the form (FP92A) from your GP, pharmacy or from your specialist at your cancer clinic.  The hospital doctor or Gp will need to sign it for you.

The exemption certificate will cover all your medications, and not just ones related to your cancer. The certificate lasts for 5 years.

If you are a carer in England, and have health issues of your own, check with your doctor to see if you are eligible for an exemption certificate.  There is helpful information available from NHS on their webpage ‘am I entitled to free prescriptions?’)

What now?

If you have cancer, and you’re not already in receipt of free prescriptions, check with your healthcare team about your eligibility and get the form to apply.

Free prescriptions are just one of the ways to help relieve financial costs of living with cancer.  Drop into your local Maggie’s Centre to find out what else you may be entitled to. Maggie’s have benefits advisors who can help you.  

Read our online benefits webpages, to find out more about other help available.

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