Tariff Tip: Elastic Hosiery

Q: I have a prescription for Elastic Compression Hosiery, two pairs of Class 1 stockings. How many patient charges are applicable?

A: Elastic hosiery attracts one patient charge per individual piece or limb i.e. one pair of stockings is for two legs and therefore attracts two patient charges. Two pairs of compression stocking attract four patient charges.

Please note that all prescriptions are exempt from charges in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, pharmacies in these countries need to be aware of the levies applicable in England in case they receive an English prescription.

Example A.

Class 1 Elastic Hosiery Stockings, 1 pair

This prescription attracts 2 patient charges and 1 professional fee

Example B.

Elastic Hosiery Knee Caps (1 pair)

Class II Elastic Hosiery Stockings (1 pair)

1 Spare Suspender belt for stockings

This prescription attracts 5 patient charges and 3 professional fees

If the patient pays for their items it may be cost effective to purchase a prepayment certificate. Note also that appliances can be sold OTC without the need for prescription charges.

It is important to note that lymphoedema garments (which also use the compression principle) are not classed as elastic hosiery. Therefore each type of lymphoedema garment attracts only one patient charge in total, irrespective of the number of pieces prescribed.

The Drug Tariff explains multiple charges of hosiery:


More than one prescription charge is payable where:

11.2.4 More than one piece of elastic hosiery is supplied (Anklet, legging, knee-cap, below – knee, above –knee or thigh stocking).

Need help?

Each week we will be highlighting a popular question or issue addressed by our information services team to help keep you informed about the hot topics being discussed by other members.

If you have any questions about the Drug Tariff - send Sue a message or call Information Services on 0800 783 5709