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Document Are NHS prescriptions free under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act?

If you go into a pharmacy with an NHS prescription you would be required to pay for the drugs unless you had an exemption which is listed on the back of the prescription. However, if your PCN relates to medication provided as part of your care package, you must request that your care provider submits a declaration on letter headed paper to confirm this.

This must include the following:
  • The reference number on your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your full address and postcode
  • Confirmation that the medication prescribed should have been part of your care package
The letter can be sent by post:

Prescription Exemption Checking Service
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

or as an email attachment to

Under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act, a patient is provided with a 'care package' on release from the hospital / institute, which may include free medication.


To get medication through Section 117 of the Mental Health Act, whoever is arranging the care package for the person on release from the Hospital/ Institute, should arrange for the appropriate medication to be given to the person at pre-arranged places.

It is the duty of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or Local Health board and of the local social services authority to provide, in co-operation with relevant voluntary agencies, after care services to any person who this applies to.

Therefore, if you wish to claim for free prescriptions through Section 117 of the Mental Health Act you will need to speak to the person who is overseeing your care package.



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