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The NHS recognises that a 28-day repeat prescribing interval makes the best possible balance between patient convenience, good medical practice and minimal drug wastage.
The British Medical Association notes that “Prescribing intervals should be in line with the medically appropriate needs of the patient, taking into account the need to safeguard NHS resources, patient convenience, and the dangers of excess drugs in the home.”
The benefits of 28-day prescribing include:
Studies in the UK and abroad have shown significant savings and a reduction in waste with 28-day prescribing. NICE Guidelines support 28 day prescribing and recommend that medicines are prescribed for no more than 30 days (prescribing larger quantities puts the supply chain at risk).
The surgery will provide you with a prescription for an interval that is clinically appropriate for you, taking into account all sort of issues, such as how stable your condition is, how long we expect you to take the medicine for, any side-effects you may experience, whether or not your medicine may change in the future, and any monitoring required. For some patients on certain medicines at a stable dose (e.g. contraceptives & HRT), your doctor may decide it is appropriate to issue prescriptions for prescribing intervals longer than 28 days and for medicines that are taken “as required” or for creams and certain inhalers your medicines may only be available on the normal repeat basis when you will make the request in the usual way in writing.
This policy is at the discretion of individual doctors to be implemented when appropriate for suitable patients.
For certain patients on stable doses, we can move their prescriptions to the Electronic Repeat Dispensing system (eRD). Your medication can be issued for a number of months at a time, you simply collect from your pharmacy each month without having to contact or request from the surgery. Prescriptions on eRD will still be 28 day intervals.
The vast majority of patients collecting repeat prescriptions do not pay prescription charges; therefore there will be no difference to these patients in terms of cost due to 28-day prescribing. If you do have to pay prescription charges, then it may be beneficial for you to buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate especially if you are taking 3 or more medicines on a regular basis. More information is available on this website www.services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/buy-prescription-prepayment-certificate
Please be reminded we do not accept prescription requests over the telephone – where possible please use the NHS app to request your repeat medication.