Prescriptions – pre-paid certificates and payment exemptions

Pre-paid Certificates

Patients charges towards the cost of drugs and appliances issued on prescription forms presented for dispensing under the National Health Service are as follows:

£3.85 Per item on a Prescription Form

£7.70 Per item of Elastic Hosiery (an anklet, legging, knee-cap, below-knee or thigh stocking)

Apply for a pre-payment prescription certificate. These certificates allow you to cap the prescription fees so you know exactly what your prescriptions will cost you over a given period, regardless of how many items you need

Pre-paid certificates cost £54 for 12 months, or £19 for four months – and any Isle of Man Residents, over 16 (19 if a full time student) can apply.

This one off payment allows you unlimited prescription items while your certificate is valid.  To get a certificate you just need to complete the application form, and return it by email to fps@gov.im or by post to Manx Care, Primary Care Services, Crookall House, Demesne Road, Douglas, IM1 3QA.  

The cost of the yearly certificate is equivalent to 14 items, for those with complex health needs or repeat prescriptions this may provide good value for money.

Before applying for a pre-paid certificate, please check that you are not exempt from prescription costs.

Exemptions

From 1 January 2017 pharmacy staff will be asking patients for proof of their exemption when they sign to claim free prescriptions.

The current decision by DHSC to request for proof of exemptions is due to many factors – but essentially it is aimed at raising public awareness of the fact that individuals should be very clear that they are definitely exempt before signing the back of the form.

Patients can claim prescriptions free of charge, based on the following exemptions:

  • Children under 16 years
  • Full time students under 19 years
  • Person of State Retirement age
  • Persons in receipt of Income Support and their dependents
  • Persons in receipt of Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Persons in receipt of Incapacity Benefit for a period in excess of six months
  • Persons in receipt of Employed Persons Allowance
  • Chronic sick, who have been in constant need of medical attention for six months or longer and who are not in substantial employment

Persons suffering from the following conditions, irrespective of income or employment circumstances:

(i)    Permanent fistula (including caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance

(ii)   The following disorders:

  • Forms of hypoadrenalism (including 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

(iii)   Epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy:

(iv)   A continuing physical disability which prevents the patient from leaving his residence without the help of another person

  • War Service Disablement Pensioners
  • Registered Blind Persons
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women who have given birth within the previous twelve months.

No prescription charge is payable for contraceptive appliances and substances prescribed for women under the Isle of Man Health Service.

Please note: No patient will be refused medication and they will NOT be asked to pay in lieu of proof being available.

Those who are unsure if they are actually exempt should ask the pharmacy team for advice. Individuals can pay and get a special receipt for a refund once their exemption has been confirmed should they wish to do so.

Patients claiming their free prescriptions based on receipt of certain benefits do NOT need to contact Social Security to ask for letters or other hard copies of proof, however if patients are in the MiCard scheme for accessing benefits they may show their card.

If you have a pre-payment certificate, please make a note of the expiry date and remember to apply for a renewal in plenty of time. Application forms can be obtained by downloading the document at the top of this page, the Department or at a pharmacy, otherwise you will have to pay prescription charges.

Reminders will not be issued by the Department of Health & Social Care.

All card payments must be made over the phone  or a cheque may be posted with your application form. For any queries you may call Family Practitioners Service on +44 1624642694.