HMRC have published Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2023) ‘Change to the VAT treatment of drugs and medicines supplied under patient group directions’. This sets out a temporary zero rating for VAT. 

Between 9 October 2023 and 31 March 2027, a zero rate of VAT will apply to drugs and medicines supplied under patient group directions.

  • A patient group direction is a written instruction that allows healthcare professionals to supply and administer specified drugs and medicines to a pre-defined group of patients without a prescription.

This brings such supplies into line with Drugs and medicines dispensed on prescription by a registered health professional.

The new VAT zero rate applies to:

  • The supply of drugs and medicines dispensed in accordance with a patient group direction issued under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.
  • Supplies made by a registered pharmacist (including a pharmacy technician in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)) or by a General Practitioner practice where a pharmacy is too remote and dispensing is allowed under Note 2D, Group 12, Schedule 8, VATA 1994.

The zero rate does not apply to vaccines and medicines administered by a health professional.

  • These supplies are exempt where the service is provided by a pharmacist or certain other medical professionals.
  • Such services are regarded as medical treatment and not for personal use.
  • The new zero rate only applies where the goods are administered by the patient.

Useful guides on this topic

Health and welfare: VAT
When does reduced rating, zero rating and VAT exemptions apply to services relating to medical care, health and welfare? What are the rules?

A beginner's guide to VAT
VAT: Where do I start? What is VAT? Who has to register for VAT? What rate should I charge? How do I calculate VAT? When are my VAT filing obligations?

Rates & Fractions (VAT)
What is the VAT rate? What is the VAT fraction for VAT at 5% or 12.5% or 20%? How do I calculate VAT? 

External link

Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2023) ‘change to the VAT treatment of drugs and medicines supplied under patient group directions’.

Squirrel ad

Are you enjoying our content? 

Thousands of accountants and advisers and their clients use as their primary TAX resource.

Register with us now to receive our unique FREE Tax Planning Tips and Advice Guide & our FREE OMB Newsletter.




We hope you are enjoying this amazing Practical Tax Database here at

Sign up now to receive our unique FREE Newsletter full of Tax Planning Tips & Know-How.

.Squirrel ad