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Free prescriptions in Wales

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Choosing the right NHS Wales service if you become ill or are injured.

Since 1 April 2007 your prescription medicine has been provided free, as part of your treatment.

Where you previously bought non-prescription medication over-the-counter, without the need to see your GP, you should continue to do so.

Remember, your GP is one of a number of frontline clinical experts now able to prescribe medication. Others include:

  • dentists
  • pharmacists
  • nurses.

All prescribers decide on clinical grounds what a patient needs on prescription to help improve their health.  

Who is entitled

  • all patients registered with a Welsh GP who get their prescriptions from a pharmacist in Wales
  • patients who live in Wales but are registered with a GP in England due to the proximity of their address to the border are issued with 'entitlement cards’. Patients will be issued with free prescriptions at a Welsh pharmacy if they present the card and the English prescription
  • Welsh patients who although registered with Welsh GPs regularly receive treatment within English NHS Trusts, or out of hours services based in England. They will be charged for prescriptions at Welsh pharmacies, as they do not qualify for an entitlement card. To address this inequality, they can apply for a refund by submitting their claim by letter along with a receipt via the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (external link).

Medical and maternity exemption certificates

Welsh patients who are exempt from paying for prescriptions under the previous medical or maternity exemption system can apply for a medical exemption certificate (external link). This will enable them to get their medication from dispensing pharmacies in England. The maternity exemption certificate also allows for free dental care.