Abolition of Prescription Charges

Important Information on Prescription Charges

The Scottish Government abolished prescription charges on 1 April 2011.

The abolition of Scottish prescription charges applies only to prescriptions issued on Scottish prescription forms (GP10) and dispensed in Scottish pharmacies. The only exception will be when English prescription forms (FP10) are presented at a Scottish pharmacy together with a valid Entitlement Card. Full details are available on the Practitioner Services Entitlement Cards web page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about patients who live in England but are registered with a GP practice in Scotland?

Patients who live in England but are registered with a GP practice in Scotland will not be charged for a prescription(s) presented for dispensing in Scotland. They will not require any entitlement card as they will have been issued with the Scottish prescription form (GP10). If a patient presents the prescription for dispensing at a pharmacy in England they will be required to pay the English charge unless they fall within one of the exemption categories listed in the equivalent English Regulations.

What will be charged if a Scottish prescription form (GP10) is presented for dispensing in England, Wales or Northern Ireland?

Any Scottish prescription form (GP10) presented for dispensing in England will be charged at the English rate of £7.40 per item, unless the patient qualifies for exemption.

Any Scottish prescription from presented for dispensing in Wales or Northern Ireland will be charged the rate in force at the time. This is currently zero.

What would be charged for a prescription written in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and presented for dispensing in Scotland?

Patients presenting prescriptions written in England will be charged at the English rate of £7.40 per item. The only exceptions are for Entitlement Card holders or those who qualify for exemption.

Patients presenting prescription written in Wales or Northern Ireland for dispensing in Scotland will not be charged under current arrangements.

What charge will Scottish students studying elsewhere in the UK pay for prescriptions?

Scottish students studying elsewhere in the UK are expected to register with a GP practice in that country.  If they are studying in England, they will be subject to the prescription charge applied there, which is currently £7.40 per item, unless they qualify for exemption. Prescriptions dispensed in Wales and Northern Ireland will be charged the rate in force at the time. This is currently zero.

What charge will non-Scottish students studying in Scotland pay for prescriptions?

Non-Scottish students studying in Scotland will normally register with a Scottish GP practice. They will receive a Scottish prescription form (GP10) and will be eligible to collect their prescription free of charge unless they present their prescription for dispensing in England and do not qualify for exemption.

What charge will visitors to Scotland pay for prescriptions?

Visitors to Scotland who qualify to register with a Scottish GP practice as a temporary resident will receive a Scottish prescription form (GP10) and so benefit from the abolition of prescription charges, assuming their prescription is dispensed in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. However, if they present an NHS prescription from elsewhere in the UK they will be charged the rate in force at the time. In Wales and Northern Ireland this is currently zero, in England this is currently £7.40.

Last Reviewed: 15/04/2016