Repeat prescription ordering – a service where we are already making changes

Background

Some people who need regular medication use a pharmacy or supplier of medical appliances to order medicines for them e.g. through the pharmacy’s ‘repeat prescription ordering service’.  We know this can lead to over-ordering of medicines and mean that people have less control over the medication they want or need.

The CCGs in Kirklees spend over £70 million on medicines each year.  Most of these medicines are provided on prescription through GP practices.  It’s estimated that between 1 and 2% of the prescribing budget is wasted as a result of repeat prescription ordering services provided by pharmacies and other suppliers.

What the CCGs are planning   

From 1 April 2017, pharmacies and other suppliers will no longer be able to order repeat prescriptions for patients through their own ordering services.   Instead, we want people to order their own repeat prescriptions via their GP surgery.  The CCGs are doing this because:

  • It puts patients in control of the ordering process and allows them to manage their own medication needs
  • Ordering of prescriptions by people other than patients or their carers can result in medicines being requested when they are not required, leading to waste
  • It will reduce errors in the ordering and processing of repeat prescriptions by removing a number of steps where mistakes may be introduced
  • Online ordering of prescriptions reduces the administrative burden on GP practices and pharmacies. This will free up their time and allow them to focus on other healthcare tasks. 

Who might be affected by the plans?

People who currently order repeat prescriptions using services which are not provided by their GP, for example, through a pharmacy’s repeat prescription ordering service. 

Who would remain unaffected by the plans?

Being able to order medicines through a pharmacy or supplier ordering service will still be possible for the most vulnerable patients e.g. those being supported by local authority carers and with little family support/involvement, and those lacking mental capacity.

All patients will still be able to order their repeat prescriptions:

  • In person at their GP practice
  • Online using their GP’s online service
  • Via post from their GP practice

Potential saving  

Between £600,000 and £1 million.