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Pharmacies Ordering Repeat Prescriptions

We have heard concerns about these schemes across the whole of Wessex and, on further enquiry, it is apparent that there is a national problem. Managed repeat prescription services are when the pharmacy retains the patient’s prescription repeat request form and submits it to the surgery on their behalf. The next prescription can then be processed and dispensed ready for the patient to collect it at a convenient time before they have run out of medication.

Pharmacies are obliged to have a robust Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the service which amongst other factors should cover

Ideally SOPs would be developed with input from the local surgeries but this does not always happen. Not following the above steps can result in patients receiving all of the items on their repeat request forms irrespective of need and in medication changes being missed. Whilst much of the onus for getting this right lies with the pharmacy, the responsibility is shared by practices as it is us (GPs) who sign all of the prescriptions.

We will feedback on any progress with national discussions and in the meantime would advise practices to consider their role in repeat prescribing systems that ensure both patient safety and the minimisation of waste.

This process should be smoothed out with the advert of electronic prescribing.

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Updated on Monday, 28 September 2020 1717 views