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To be fed up to get penalty charge for prescription items correctly paid for?

(33 Posts)
Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:05:12

Recently, I went to the pharmacy with a prescription. There were multiple items on the prescription and it was over two pages. I paid by card and have the receipt for the number of items over the two pages.

Fast forward and I received a letter from the NHS business services authority who have issued me with a penalty charge notice for the single item on the second page. There was no room for it on the first page. They said that the payment exemption box had been ticked on the back of this. At the doctors or the pharmacy.

However, they haven't contacted the Doctor or the pharmacy. They have simply issued me a £50 fine for an item I have paid for. The pharmacy would have the transaction corresponding to the prescription, I would imagine.

I rang them and there was an unhelpful chappie on the other end. Insinuating my receipt could be for a different prescription for the same number of items on the same day. He said they have no way of knowing if the items are from the same prescription.

It is a good thing I am not efficient in shredding my card receipts or I'd be stung for something I have paid for. Somebody ticked the payment exemption box on the second page of the prescription, even though the pharmacy charged me for the item anyway. And it is part two of a two page prescription.

I can send them a copy of the receipts, but it seems they cannot ascertain if the prescription issued on one date is filled on the card receipt date. Chappie said I could have filled another prescription (for same medicine!) and they don't contact the pharmacy.

So, the corollary would be that you buy a pair of shoes and get a receipt for payment. You need to return the shoes and go back in with the receipt. The shop assistant says your receipt corresponds to the shoes you are returning but you could have bought another exact pair and the receipt is really for the other shoes.

luckylucky24 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:08:48

This is ridiculous. I would simply refuse to pay. What exactly can they do?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 16-Jan-17 16:09:56

Somebody ticked the payment exemption box on the second page of the prescription, even though the pharmacy charged me for the item anyway. Couldn't that mean that the pharmacy is on the take?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 16-Jan-17 16:11:21

The pharmacy appear to be to blame here; for ticking that box... whoever ticked it is the reason you got the fine. The box says you didn't pay. If you did; it shouldn't have been ticked.

AveEldon Mon 16-Jan-17 16:12:25

I would be querying this with the pharmacy - was it an independent or a chain?
They have claimed from the NHS for something you paid for

AveEldon Mon 16-Jan-17 16:13:22

The form has to be signed as well - who signed it?

Nicketynac Mon 16-Jan-17 16:14:51

The man on the phone is correct though - they have no way of matching receipts to prescriptions. I would still challenge it with the NHS people though. Who would pay for £50 of prescriptions then think, ooh I'll try and dodge this one charge?
I would also write to the Superintendent Pharmacist (all pharmacies have one, and should be able to give you details) and complain. The prescriptions have probably got separated in a pile and someone in the pharmacy filled it in.

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:14:57

If it was the pharmacy, I would put it down to human error. I paid by card and the assistants wouldn't have any benefit from that.

I have a copy of the prescription (over two pages, same date from same doctor) and my card receipts as I had it filled after the weekend. I will send it by email. I refuse to go to the expense of buying a blasted stamp.

It was more the useless chappie at the other end of the phone. Seriously, they don't know anything but computer said box was ticked. J'accuse.

misspoirot Mon 16-Jan-17 16:15:08

Don't you have to date and sign the bottom of the prescription - beneath the area that would've been fraudulently ticked to declare medical exemption? Could you ask to see it?

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:20:31

Didn't you fill in the back of the prescription yourself? I always put the amount on the back and sign it. The pharmacy will email able to tell from their records how many items you had that day which should equal your receipt.

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:20:34

I don't remember the interaction at the pharmacy. When the pharmacist or assistant says to sign a form, I don't query it. Or didn't.

So, I have the prescription over 2 pages and a card receipt for the same number of items. I have been sent a fine for claiming for something I have already paid for.

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:21:44

Email = be

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:22:41

I think it's your responsibility to fill in the back correctly not the pharmacy.

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:25:34

I can cope with human error. I'm just irked about the smug insinuation as to my honesty, even if I have the receipts, from the useless chappie at the other end of the phone.

LaMontser Mon 16-Jan-17 16:25:47

There was a pharmacist scam where the scripts that were paid for by the customer were also claimed back by the shop. Here in NI before free scripts you had to sign the back regardless if you were exempt or not, but most people only signed if they were exempt. That's how the fraud was happening. Do you have to sign only if you're exempt?

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:26:54

No you have to sign either way.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 16-Jan-17 16:28:00

Can the doctor that prescribed the items confirm that these were the only items prescribed.

Surely the system should be able to identify that:

you were prescribed a certain number of items and paid for those. Sounds like the pharmacy is either pulling a fast one or ticked the box without thinking through the consequences.

Is there an appeals process - I wouldn't pay a fine where I hadn't done anything wrong.

Also, if you needed so many prescription items that they went over 2 pages, why didn't you get a pre-pay certificate - you could have set one up online before going to the pharmacy and reclaimed the money.

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:31:46

The prescription was an electronic one. I know it was two pages as I requested a copy printout for another reason. As they are paperless from the doctors, I can't remember if the pharmacy then printed their own copy for me to sign.

I will be a lot more careful about looking at the boxes now. If I was claiming for an exemption, I wonder why I proceeded to pay for the item as normal. Not very good at fraud, am I?

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:34:00

Why do I need a pre-pay certificate? I just pay with my visa when I get the prescription filled. Same as any other purchase.

Rumplestaleskin Mon 16-Jan-17 16:34:08

I had a similar experience previously. Basically I rang them up and they said it was an admin error due to an incorrect postcode being inputed. Anyway, I didn't really question it further as they waived the fee. Apparently it is surprisingly common.

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:35:23

It can be cheaper to buy a pre-payment certificate than paying for each item. The pharmacy would have to print the prescription for them to fill it and claim for it.

Cailleach1 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:48:47

How can you identify if two pages are part of the same prescription. Besides being issued on the same day by the same doctor? It was an electronic request.

The number of items paid for amount to the total number over the two pages of the prescription. Chappie said the single item on the second page was on it's own and that is the one I'm being fined for. The receipt doesn't individualise or identify each item. It simply states the number of prescription charges.

Glastonbury Mon 16-Jan-17 16:58:05

Common sense tells you that you paid for x number of items over the two prescriptions. However they could argue that you may have paid for your one prescription plus someone elses you were collecting at the same time. Hopefully they will cancel the penalty if you contact them.

MipMipMip Mon 16-Jan-17 16:58:20

Hi. If you get a pre pay certificate it's about £10.50 a month, no matter how many prescriptions. Works out a lot cheaper if you have more than one repeat a month.

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 16-Jan-17 16:59:57

If you need more than (I think) 12 items per year then a pre pay card is definitely cheaper.

www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/PPC.aspx

I had a similar one, they just sent me the penalty charge letter out of the blue. It turned out that the doctor had filled in my name incorrectly, putting my former married name instead of my maiden name that I now use. It was sorted easily over the phone, so I am surprised how unhelpful they have been.

Is there an option to contest it in court? I would be surprised if, with your evidence, it was found in their favour.

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