Medical Exemption - Prescriptions Charge

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10
Morning all,
I have been type 1 for 46 years.
In all this time I have never paid for a prescription from the NHS regarding prescribed medicine.
I have now received a ' Penalty Charge Notice ' ( PCN) from NHS business services authority for claiming free NHS prescriptions as they have no record of me having a ' Medical Exemption Certificate '...?
To the best of my knowledge I have never had a physical certificate in all my adult life, I have just simply ticked the box on the reverse of the prescription, as my understanding is that all Type 1s get free prescriptions ?
I have attempted to challenge the notice but the reply seems automated.
Any help/ understanding would be appreciated.
Thanks
 
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Grant_Vicat

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Morning all,
I have been type 1 for 46 years.
In all this time I have never paid for a prescription from the NHS regarding prescribed medicine.
I have now received a ' Penalty Charge Notice ' ( PCN) from NHS business services authority for claiming free NHS prescriptions as they have no record of me having a ' Medical Exemption Certificate '...?
To the best of my knowledge I have never had a physical certificate in all my adult life, I have just simply ticked the box on the reverse of the prescription, as my understanding is that all Type 1s get free prescriptions ?
I have attempted to challenge the notice but the reply seems automated.
Any help/ understanding would be appreciated.
Thanks
Morning Mark! You might find this helpful:



I would also go to your pharmacy or GP and tell them exactly what you have said here. I can't understand why any pharmacist issued medicines without charging you. I used to have to renew mine regularly (5 years?). Good luck!
 

Ushthetaff

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Have to say if Ive ever been given one I have absolutely no idea where it is , I don’t ever remember getting one .
 
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Lakeslover

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You have to apply for an exemption certificate. Get the form from your surgery, you fill in your bit and tge doctor signs it and sends it off. Then you get a credit card sized exemption certificate through the post. It has to be renewed every 5 years until you reach the normal age for free prescriptions.

The chemist is supposed to ask to see it to dispense free prescriptions but mine never did.
 

Pipp

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The back of the prescription has a tick box for antone claiming free prescriptions. The relevant box to tick would be ‘have a medical exemption certificate’. The system changed to this several years ago, and soma lot of people havebbeen caught out. Of course, now that many prescriptions are sent remotely, to pharmacies patients don’t have the opportunity to read and tick the relevant box.
You have reason to appeal.
 

Ipodlistener

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I became a type one diabetic in November 2021. Nobody told me either. I ended up like you. Once I applied they made the fine £9 something like one prescription.
 
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searley

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You need to ask your gp for the firm you complete it and return to the GP practice. You will get your exemption card in a couple of weeks and it typically lasts 5 years
 

Ushthetaff

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Type of diabetes
Type 1
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Insulin
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Mountain out of mole hill makers ,queues , crowds , shopping on a Saturday hmm just shopping I guess no matter what day it is
Have to wonder if you’re T1 why you have to renew. Not like T1 is evergoing to go away
 
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zand

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You are exempt but you still need a certificate nowadays.

Reminds me of being told 'you can't have a repeat prescription because you haven't had a medication review'
'But my GP and consultant have both reviewed my medication and noted it on my records'
'You still need a Medication Review'...
 

mouseee

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Messages
734
In all pharmacies I've used in the past couple of years, they check electronically. Have no idea if I filled in a form but I haven't had to show anything in ages. It's the same for prepayment which my husband gets. My husband's prepayment is renewed annually and we definitely haven't had any form of card for him.
 
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lovinglife

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Until we both hit 60 both me & My husband were exempt from prescription charges, him for a lifelong condition not diabetes and me for diabetes we both had exemption certificates that were renewed every 5 years, the last time we renewed we did it on line and it was sent to our GP electronically for them to sign.

I get all our scripts from Boots and they do store it electronically so it’s checked every time and they have a tick box to say so. We are now both 60 so get free scripts anyway.

They do do spot checks from time to time, my son is on ESA and gets free scripts, every time I collect his meds they ask if he is still on ESA - sometimes they ask can I bring in proof next time, I just take his latest letter in
 
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Ushthetaff

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Type of diabetes
Type 1
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Mountain out of mole hill makers ,queues , crowds , shopping on a Saturday hmm just shopping I guess no matter what day it is
I suppose it helps I’m on first name terms with my chemist
 

In Response

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My pharmacy used to,check my exemption certificate every time I picked up my insulin.
This stopped during covid as the “Certificate” (a credit card sized card) was another thing they wanted to avoid touching. They have not resumed the check but I still ensure I have a valid certificate.
Whilst I understand the frustration of apparently not needing this for decades but ignorance of the law is not a valid defence.
Hopefully, the fine is small.

As for why we have to renew it when there is no cure for Type 1, I have always assumed it is to simplify the process for the bureaucrats. It’s the same reason we don’t have to pay for any prescriptions regard whether it is related to diabetes - it’s easier to administer.
It made no sense to get free (very strong) antihistamines when I was attacked by bed bugs. The diabetes was irrelevant to the treatment and cause.
 
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Jaylee

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Have to say if Ive ever been given one I have absolutely no idea where it is , I don’t ever remember getting one .
I’ve never had one..

Untill it was mentioned a few years back on this forum & felt I’d better apply at my surgery.
With regards to touching the card by a chemist?
It’s never left my hand even before covid. They just lean forward & squint at the name which saves me on how to spell it…

I’ve been away on one occasion & needed my surgery to send a script for test cartridges for my meter to a chemist who wasn’t my local.. Glad I had that card when picking up.
You are exempt but you still need a certificate nowadays.

Reminds me of being told 'you can't have a repeat prescription because you haven't had a medication review'
'But my GP and consultant have both reviewed my medication and noted it on my records'
'You still need a Medication Review'...
lol, my GP always looks sheepish with this formality. “The insulin… I gotta ask.” A quick ;) in response, nuff said.
 

Nicola M

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I've always kept the little card they give you when you apply (have to re-apply every 5 years through your GP) although they must be able to check it electronically as well as I have my prescriptions delivered to me and as part of their process they "check your exemptions" before dispensing and shipping medication. As annoying as it is, it's our responsibility to make sure we have the medical exemption certificate and that it is valid so we can claim our free prescriptions, lots of prescriptions are administered every day and lots of people have conditions that make them exempt and it'd be hard for pharmacies to keep track of and remember every single person who is exempt which is why it's easier for them to have us apply for an exemption certificate instead. Whilst I agree it is silly we have to renew it every 5 years the exemption certificate covers a range of medical conditions some of which may not be lifelong so its easier for them to get everyone to renew every 5 years rather than have different rules for every condition.

According to the Diabetes UK website (https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/free-prescriptions) if you apply for a medical exemption certificate within 60 days of receiving a fine then they will waive the charges so I would look into sorting getting one ASAP.
 

becca59

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2,933
Type of diabetes
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@Mark the Spark I suspect that you started with diabetes as a child, when you were eligible for free prescriptions. Personally I believe you should have received a letter when you turned 18 alerting you to the new adult requirement. Without that how would you know. Diagnosed at 54, the hospital team gave me the initial paperwork and I kept up to date. Now beyond 60 it’s done anyway. What’s amazing is it’s taken them all these years to catch up with you. Showing that there must be widespread fraud occurring every day. (Not you obviously)