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Prescription charges

(10 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Mon 18-Jan-16 11:46:25

I just went to Boots with a private prescription for 1% hydrocortisone cream to use on my face. My understanding was that with private precriptions you pay the cost of the medicine and the NHS £8.20 prescription charge has no bearing.

This cream is available OTC without prescription for about £3.50. I had a prescription because the pharmacist at another store had recently told me it could not be sold for use on the face without one - fair enough.

However in the pharmacy today I handed over the prescription and was asked where I'd be using it. I said "face". I was then charged £8.20 for it as "it's not licensed for use on the face without a prescription so we have to charge you the prescription charge". Is that right?

What if it was the other way round and the OTC cost of the cream was more than £8.20 - would I only have had to pay £8.20?

I'm not criticising anyone, just confused about how private prescription charges work. I had a private one as my work has a free private GP scheme.

ivykaty44 Mon 18-Jan-16 22:24:28

But you had a perscription? Regardless of the cost

LynnetteBird Mon 18-Jan-16 22:29:24

I'd have saved a fiver by saying it was for my leg.

Melonaire Mon 18-Jan-16 22:30:40

FFS lie woman!

BeaufortBelle Mon 18-Jan-16 22:44:54

I always thought a private prescription was dispensed at the retail price. I think you were done. Next time say, OK thanks, and walk into the next chemist and ask for a tube of 1% hydrocortisone cream. If they ask where you'll be using say "in the bathroom" if they press, say "somewhere private".

pharmacist Mon 18-Jan-16 22:46:32

Private prescription prices vary from pharmacy chain to pharmacy chain. Our place would have charged you the minimum charge (about £4.)

Haven't worked at Boots for a long time but unless they've bumped their minimum price up to £8.20 then you've been done.

I'd ring them and ask what the minimum private prescription charge is, if it's £8.20 then try elsewhere next time.

gamerchick Mon 18-Jan-16 22:47:21

Just lie next time. No good comes of telling a chemist the truth.

JessieMcJessie Mon 18-Jan-16 23:11:36

Thanks Pharmacist. I have emailed them to ask (politely). DH thinks it's likely that they have decided to set their minimum private prescription charge at the same price as an NHS prescription but I don't think there is any logic to this.

To those saying I should have lied, I certainly would next time, but I didn't anticipate that it was gong to affect the price; I thought the question was to check something medical and I do think that it's important to tell pharmacists the truth as they can sometimes pick up things that doctors have missed.

headexplodesbodyfreezes Mon 18-Jan-16 23:15:40

They can charge a dispensing fee for private prescriptions. But when I've had them it has' been as much as the NHS prescription charge.

JessieMcJessie Tue 19-Jan-16 13:11:41

As an update Boots customer service have emailed back to say that it would be too much of a coincidence that the private prescription charge was identical to the NHS one and they think a mistake has been made. They are following up with the store now I have sent them a pic of my receipt.

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