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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 21/14 - Dispensing of prescribed drugs


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Issued 23 May 2014

Zero-rating of the dispensing of drugs prescribed by physiotherapists and podiatrists


This Revenue & Customs Brief announces a consequential change to UK VAT law to permit the zero-rating of the dispensing of drugs prescribed by physiotherapists and podiatrists. This is as a result of changes introduced in The Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

Who should read this?

Physiotherapists and podiatrists, pharmacists and other health professionals who are authorised to dispense drugs.


Currently medical doctors, dentists and other health professionals authorised under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 can prescribe medication.

Registered pharmacists or others with similar authorisation are already permitted to dispense zero-rated drugs and medicines to individuals for their personal use on prescription by virtue of Item 1 of Group 12 of Schedule 8 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. Note 2B to Group 12 lists the health professionals who are permitted to prescribe drugs.

Physiotherapists and podiatrists are not currently listed and as such pharmacists cannot zero-rate the dispensing of drugs on prescription from these without the involvement of a doctor.

The Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into force on 20 August 2013. It allows physiotherapists and podiatrists, after appropriate training, to prescribe certain drugs in their own right. As such, Group 12 is being updated to include these.

Changes to legislation

A new statutory instrument 'The Value Added Tax (Drugs and Medicines) Order 2014' will come into force. This Order amends the VAT Act 1994. It adds physiotherapists and podiatrists to the list of persons who can prescribe drugs which can be zero-rated by pharmacists or by other health professionals authorised to dispense drugs.


The changes come into effect as of 21 May 2014.

Who can I contact for further information?

For further information please contact the VAT Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700.

The Helpline is available from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have hearing difficulties, please ring the Textphone service on Telephone: 0300 200 3719.

About the Author

Crown Copyright 2014.

A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2014-05-26 09:30:39 in Tax Articles

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