Prescriptions charges are set by the Department of Health, the government body responsible for healthcare provision in England & Wales.
From 1 April 2021 prescription charges are changing to £9.35 per item on a prescription.
If you are 16, 17 or 18 years old and in full-time education then you are automatically exempt from paying prescription charges. You simply need to tick this exemption category on the rear of the prescription.
However, once you become 19 you must pay for your prescriptions even if you remain in full-time education. To obtain exemption on the basis of your income you must apply using the form HC1, which can be obtained from reception, ordered online (see link below) or ordered from the Health Literature line on 0800 555 777.
If you are unable to obtain exemption because you fail the Government's means-test, you may wish to purchase a pre-payment certificate. They cost £30.25 for a three month certificate or £108.10 for a twelve month certificate, but you will have nothing more to pay during the validity of your certificate.
These can be purchased online at the Prescription Pricing Authority website (see link below), via their telephone advice and order line (0300 330 1341) or purchased from authorised chemists.