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Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

Many people have either one or numerous long term conditions and require regular repeat prescriptions. We endeavour to review these annually - this can be in the form of a nurse led clinic, with a GP or a review of your blood tests and medication. At this time the GP may authorise repeat medication for the next 12 months, if the long term condition is stable and the medication prescribed is not likely to change in the next year.

It is possible to issue a batch of prescriptions for the 12 months in an electronic form that a pharmacist can retrieve without contacting the GP surgery. This is called electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD).

How does it work?

The GP sends eRD batches of medication to the pharmacy of your choice, which has been authorised for dispensing by the pharmacist for a maximum period of 12 months. The prescriptions can be released by the pharmacist earlier than they are due in circumstances when they may be needed, such as for travel purposes or if medication has been lost. If your medication changes during the 12 months, the GP will retract the outstanding batch from the pharmacist electronically and issue a new prescription if needed.

This system means that a patient or the pharmacist will not need to order the medication from the GP until all the batches have been used up. Usually this will tie in with the annual review of the long term condition, although this is not essential. Your community pharmacist is able to confirm how many of the batch will still be available at any time and will inform you when the batches will be due to run out.

As part of the process, a token is generated and can either be given to the patient or sent directly to the nominated pharmacy of the patient's choice where you will need to go for the total number of prescriptions that make up the batch. If you have not been given the "token", your GP will send this directly to the pharmacist to allow them to complete the process to set up your Repeat Prescriptions.

Why switch to online / electronic prescriptions?

You may wonder why we are promoting online use. We are aware that this does not suit everyone, but we have seen that online ordering and eRD:
  • Saves time for patients, staff here at the practice and your community pharmacist.
  • Provides a robust audit trail that can easily be followed to clear up problems rather than having to find paper scripts that can be lost.
  • Helps reduce our environmental impact.