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AIBU to want to pay for my prescription??

(48 Posts)
BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 15:18:20

Had a prescription I needed to collect today but I was at work so DM offered to go collect it for me.

I had maternity exemption up until 2 weeks ago.

Whilst dispensing the pharmacist said 'oh she's maternity so I'll just tick that off' and my mum, assuming she was right just said 'ok' and that was that.

When she came home and told me this I called the pharmacy and told them the mistake and asked if I could come in and pay. They said no as it's already been claimed for and I am therefore liable for a fine or prosecution if it's checked!

What can I do about this? It was an innocent mistake (prompted by the pharmacist!), and as soon as I realised I tried to rectify it and pay for the prescription! I can't see how it's fair that I'm now liable for a fine when I recognised the mistake immediately and actually tried to pay!

Paddington68 Mon 18-Nov-19 15:24:09

Put the amount in a charity box.

LightsInOtherPeoplesHouses Mon 18-Nov-19 15:26:23

Paddington, that doesn't her if the exemption is checked and she's fined.

jmamminski Mon 18-Nov-19 15:26:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bangheadhere40 Mon 18-Nov-19 15:33:02

I once knew someone who got fined due to a mix up like this, so email the company that deals with it, google maternity exemption I think.

AlmostAJillSandwich Mon 18-Nov-19 15:34:58

I spent 7 years wrongly on contribution based ESA when i should always have been on income related like my sister.

So 7 years of paying for meds that should have been exempt, two occasions my dad (who picked it up for me as i was totally housebound) ticked the exemption box for income related ESA (as he did always for my sisters same meds for same condition) by mistake as he confused us. Hello £50 fine they wouldn't waive even AFTER admission from DWP i was on wrong type of ESA for 7 years, hadspent who knows how much on meds i shouldn't have, and had underpaid me by over £5000 over those 7 years because i was entitled to a premium i wasn't getting.

Paddington68 Mon 18-Nov-19 15:35:25

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/maternity-exemption-certificates

Try here

Hoppinggreen Mon 18-Nov-19 15:36:33

Anyone telling her to forget it should I bear in mind that she could get fined for this, it does happen.
A family member was fined and it took her ages to track back through bank statements to prove she had paid the prescription charges. I was in the pharmacy the other day and a lady who had been fined was trying to get the pharmacist to check their records to show she had paid, unfortunately she had paid cash so was having no luck
So it’s not just a case of easing her conscience

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 15:37:37

@jmamminski Thanks for your amazing got helpful post.

However, I'm not blaming the NHS for anything. I'm blaming the pharmacy for assuming I was still on maternity exemption without any sort of check!

TheQueef Mon 18-Nov-19 15:38:13

You can back date a pre pay cert to cover it.

gamerchick Mon 18-Nov-19 15:40:24

So does that mean your mother pocketed the prescription charge you gave her to.pay?

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 15:41:46

@gamerchick No. why would she do that? hmm

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 15:42:25

@TheQueef Oh really can you do that? Thanks I will look into that!

ItsReallyNotOk Mon 18-Nov-19 15:48:57

Contact NHSBSA - NHS Business Services Authority - as if you've indicated you're exempt for whatever reason pre-payment certificate, maternity etc, they do catch up with you eventually.
In my case it was over a year and the pharmacy had written down a totally different pre-payment certificate number, it didn't even resemble mine at all.

The fines are pretty hefty - 5 times the amount originally owed, not just a standard amount I seem to remember so it's not worth ignoring it.
And they don't care whose fault it is!
I was lucky that I actually had a valid pre-payment card.

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 15:50:56

@ItsReallyNotOk So if I order a pre-payment certificate today it won't cover me as it was put down as maternity and not pre-payment on the form?

JPharm Mon 18-Nov-19 15:59:10

Is your prescription electronic or paper? There’s a cross on the back of a paper prescription saying ‘evidence not seen’. This is an option available to the pharmacist if they have asked for proof of exemption but the patient cannot produce it at the time of dispensing. Prescriptions marked this way can then be investigated. As we don’t have electronic prescriptions in Wales I’m unsure how it works electronically but I assume it’s similar (any English pharmacists feel free to correct me).

Unless the pharmacist marked this then I doubt you’ll be singled out for investigation. It sounds like your pharmacist did not mark this box from what you have said.

If it’s a paper prescription it won’t get sent off until the end of the month so there is a way of rectifying the mistake.

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 16:03:00

It was electronic sent straight from the doctor. The pharmacist did tell me if it was paper they'd be able to rectify the error but as it's electronic it's already gone through. I think the pharmacist ticked the green sheet with the exemption list and then DM signed it. Not sure if there was an option for 'evidence not seen'

ItsReallyNotOk Mon 18-Nov-19 16:07:26

Sorry, I don't know specifics about maternity, they only explained about pre-payment certificates so give them a call as they were very helpful with me - and you're calling on the day it happened and not trying to get out of it they'll be understanding if your mother made a 'mistake' about the reason for your exemption being pre-payment rather than maternity.

And you're not actually issued with a plastic credit-card type card anymore as they were costing the NHS too much so you just get a piece of paper with your number on so you wouldn't have an actual 'card' to give to your mother so easy mistake to make.

JasBBGG Mon 18-Nov-19 16:11:49

The pharmacist would have needed your card and number though? It can't be processed without the number?

nothingcanhurtmewithmyeyesshut Mon 18-Nov-19 16:13:08

You can choose the date on a pre payment certificate. When I got mine they didn't charge me and I just put yesterday's date as the start date.

BellatrixLestat Mon 18-Nov-19 16:15:14

I'm not pre-payment though. So it wasn't a case of getting the wrong exemption it was clicking exemption that I don't have (anymore).

I spoke to the pharmacy and they said that unless I inform them otherwise then they will put it through as exemption so they're not at fault BUT I collected a prescription on the last day of my exemption, showed them the card and they wrote the expiry date down on the green sheet. So I did inform them!

JPharm Mon 18-Nov-19 16:15:27

I think your best bet OP is to get the pharmacy to document that you’ve offered to pay on your PMR record. Take the pharmacists name and registration number too so they can act as a witness if you need to appeal a fine.

frogsbreath Mon 18-Nov-19 16:16:00

I was incorrectly fined twice after the pharmacist wrongly ticked the exemption box on my prescription! I had both overturned as I had actually paid!

If I were you I would want the pharmacist to write officially they made a mistake as it will be flagged up and the fine is £50. You need this admission of a mistake by the pharmacist when you challenge the penalty notice.

Then put a complaint in to the pharmacy, it's just not acceptable to dump a £50 penalty notice onto you.

JPharm Mon 18-Nov-19 16:19:15

Also you are not at fault, they need to ask everyone if they pay or not. The onus is on the pharmacy to collect NHS levies. Circumstances change so a patient needs to be asked each time (unless the exemption is obvious I.e over 60, under 18).

Autumntoowet Mon 18-Nov-19 16:21:05

I would try to ring them or email them, info in your exemption letter and explain

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