Q: Are asylum seekers entitled to free NHS prescriptions?

A: There is no automatic exemption just by virtue of seeking asylum

Asylum seekers are usually supported by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). Those who are will be automatically sent a NHS low Income Scheme certificate (HC2 certificate). They will have to contact their case worker upon its expiry to obtain its renewal.

Any asylum seeker not supported by the National Asylum Support Service will have to pay for their prescriptions unless they are entitled to free prescriptions in line with the usual exemption criteria.

If the patient is on low income they could apply for an HC2 exemption certificate using an HC1 application form. This can be obtained via the local Refugee Council, the Jobcentre Plus office or by telephoning 0800-1690190.

If a patient cannot provide evidence of exemption the pharmacy should tick the ‘evidence not seen’ box or take a prescription payment and provide an FP57 receipt for the patient to claim the charge.

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If you have any questions about the Drug Tariff - send Sue a message or call Information Services on 0800 783 5709 option 2