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Repeat Prescriptions By Online Pharmacy, Doctor Refusing To Send Repeat Prescription

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JG1965 | 20:43 Wed 16th Jan 2013 | Society & Culture
14 Answers
As I am elderly I thought I would sign-up to an online pharmacy and get my repeat prescriptions delivered by mail. I sent my repeat prescription to the pharmacy and they said there would be no problem, that they would fax my doctor who would fax my prescription back and they would then sent my repeat prescription but my Practice Manager has refused to do this as they say this is against NHS practice policy and they cannot send prescriptions to pharmacies with this kind of arrangement. The on-line pharmacy says legally my Doctor's Surgery can't direct me to a pharmacy that they want me to use and that it is entirely up to the patient where they decide to get there prescription, so what can I do to get my prescription the way I want.
I have tried explaining this to my Doctor, the Doctor's receptionists and the Practice Manager that i want my prescription this way but I hitting a brick wall with them, the chemist has telephoned them 4 times explaining how this is done but they are still refusing to send my prescription the them.
I think they are in some sort of deal with the local chemist, I wanted to get my prescriptions this way because I have to walk away into town to the Doctor's to get my repeat prescription, then go to my chemist's with it and then go back a few days later to collect my pills and sometimes I have to go back again to the chemist's again as it is not ready.
What I want to know has anyone else had the same problem with there doctor and is what the Practice Manager said about it being against NHS Practice Policy right? Also legally can I get my prescription filled where I want and how do I make my doctor send my repeat prescription to the pharmacy?
I would be grateful for any advice or help with this.
Thanks in advance.


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Most GP practices have an arrangement with a number of local pharmacies, that they will send/fax the scripts to the pharmacy (so you don't have to do the walking about) but you do have to go to the chemists to pick them up. I know of no NHS organisation where it's acceptable to have your prescriptions delivered to you by Royal Mail. It's indeed up to you where you want to cash your prescription, but I am reasonably certain that it would be considered poor clinical governance for the practice to fax your prescription to an on-line third party who then mails it to you (and you have to pay them a subscription for this service, presumably)? It's fraught with problems as far as my knowledge of primary care is concerned. The GP would have to have some sort of service level agreement with the on-line pharmacy, IMO, and all sorts of assurance about confidentiality and patient data protection.
^^ PS "I know of no NHS organisation where it's acceptable to have your prescriptions delivered to you by Royal Mail." that's not entirely true, some services will mail your repeat prescription to you as long as you provide an SAE with your repeat prescription request.
I've never heard of pharmacies that deliver by mail. Our local chemist has a delivery van that drops the medicines off at the patient's home (if you sign up for the service) after the prescriptions are either picked up or faxed from the GP surgery.
I don't know the legalities JG, but I can phone in my request to the surgery for repeats. I get batch prescriptions from my doctor, that's 6 months worth, then take them to the chemist. When I need more tablets I just phone the chemist, they get the script ready and I collect it. They also deliver to elderly people if they can't get out. Could you perhaps try this way? It's worth trying. Good luck.
That's a good way round it, marje, saves the GP having to make frequent prescriptions, you have a kind of prescription bank at the chemist!
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Well why do Boots, LLoyds Pharmacy and a whole load of other pharmacies do this online. The prescription is not delivered by mail the doctor faxes the prescription to the pharmacy and they send the pills by signed for delivery by Royal Mail.
Yes boxtops, it's great, saves time for doctor and me!
Is your prescription item a controlled drug such as an opiate painkiller?
It will depend on the medication, and the relationship your GP practice has with the various local pharmacies. Although there are services a GP must offer, others are optional and up to the individual practice businesses. A GP is an independent contractor within the NHS and will be bound by local policies. You can ask the practice manager to show you the practice policy which says this can't be done. Everything the GP practice does has a cost attached to it, it may be that sending to one of these on-line pharmacies costs more than sending it to a local chemist via the Electronic Prescription service. I don't know whether that is the case.
PS if you want to take this further, you need to contact the PALS service at your local PCT - they can investigate this and advise you.
my repeat prescriptions are supplied by Pharmacy2U using Royal Mail and the initial application form was given to me by my Doctor and the system works very well.
I don't understand the need for all this paper. My GP has a website and on it there is a facility for requesting repeat prescriptions. She then makes it out and emails it to the chemist I nominated. I then go to that chemist the following day and collect the stuff.

It's such a simple system and should have been rolled out across the whole NHS by now, I'm sure.
Could it be that the GP wants to ensure that the prescription in question remains the correct one? Perhaps he/she wants to monitor your condition before issuing a script ad hoc? That would be the responsible way to go.
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