Healthcare Suppliers

Spring Budget: VAT for the Healthcare and Medicine Sector

by Berthold Bauer on March 17, 2023

On Wednesday 15th March 2023, the Spring Budget was delivered by Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Budget covered a number of measures however, we have covered a couple of key VAT updates specific to the NHS and broader healthcare sector below.

Services supervised by pharmacists

The government will extend the VAT exemption on healthcare to include medical services carried out by staff directly supervised by registered pharmacists. It will ensure the VAT system keeps up with changes to how the NHS operates and is in line with the government’s commitment to ease pressure on GP services.

Currently the provision of medical care by a registered pharmacist is exempt for VAT purposes (see VATA 94 Sch. 9 Grp. 7 Item 3). This extension of the exemption to those supervised by registered pharmacists allows for easier working between GPs and Pharmacists that regularly work together to provide medical services.
The change will take place from 1st May 2023.

Extending the zero rate of VAT for medicines dispensed on prescription

The government will extend the zero-rate of VAT on prescriptions for medicines supplied through Patient Group Directions.

In addition to other criteria, medicines can only be zero rated where prescribed by an ‘appropriate practitioner’. This currently constitutes medical doctors, dentists and other health professionals authorised to do so under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

However, from a non-VAT perspective, one does not necessarily need to be authorised to prescribe under Human Medicines Regulations 2012 – an example of this is those healthcare professionals which utilise a ‘Patient Group Direction’ to supply and administer medicines.

This measure effectively seeks to remove VAT as a potential barrier where medicines are being administered by nurses, or other registered health care professionals who are not qualified prescribers under The Human Medicine Regulations 2012 but instead utilise a Patient Group Direction to authorise their prescription.

This measure is expected to be introduced in autumn 2023.

If you are affected by either of these measures or have further questions, please call us on 01732 868 266 or email at

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Berthold BauerSpring Budget: VAT for the Healthcare and Medicine Sector

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