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Now you can get your medication delivered directly to your front door

June 2018

Older woman opening box
Regular medication can be delivered directly to your home

GPs have played an essential role in our lives since we were born. Many people can remember the days of simply turning up at a surgery and shuffling along the seats until one was head of the queue and finally could be seen by the doctor. Today of course, like everything else, things have gone electronic and telephone and online appointments are the usual first step to seeing your GP.

Prescriptions too have changed. No longer do you need to leave the surgery tightly clutching that green flimsy piece of paper to take to the chemist.

Instead most doctors these days use the EPS system, or Electronic Prescription Service. This is an NHS system that allows the GP to send a prescription by computer directly to the your chosen pharmacy (yes another change as the word chemist is slowly dropped from the language). Then you simply visit the pharmacy when it is convenient and pick up your medication which should be ready and waiting for you.

EPS usually works well and long term will probably remove the need for paper prescriptions altogether.

In today’s modern age with delivery vans expanding like busy white ants across the country, an obvious next step was to remove the need to physically pick up your medication from your local pharmacy and arrange for your medication to be delivered directly to your home instead.

This idea has now been taken up by a number of online pharmacies who can be nominated to receive a prescription directly from a doctor and then deliver it to your home.

To arrange this, all you need to do is to tell your doctor you wish to nominate one of these companies in the same way as you nominate your nearest pharmacy to receive your prescription. You can only nominate one recipient of your prescription.

You don’t need a computer to do this, simply tell the doctor you wish your prescriptions in future to be sent to the pharmacy you have chosen, and you can receive your medication directly at your front door – at no charge to you at all. Delivery of small packets can usually be made through your letterbox meaning you don’t even have to be at home to receive your medication.

The system works best for regular medication. Some of the companies offering this service will also offer a reminder when it is time to re-order.

Of course like all online services, it is sensible to make a few checks. Online pharmacies are businesses just like the pharmacy in your local high street. The good news is that pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services have to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council which has strict controls. You can check if the company you are choosing to provide your medication delivery is registered.

One of the largest internet pharmacies offering home delivery in the UK is Pharmacy2U, which operates from a £3.5m prescription centre in Leeds. It was the first of its kind in the UK and was involved in working with the NHS in the development of electronic prescriptions.

But there are others available such as
chemist-4-u.com
kamsons.co.uk
lloydspharmacy.com

One word of warning though, generally the service is geared for people requesting regular repeat prescriptions and some pharmacies are beginning to introduce small charges to cover the costs of delivery.

Your doctor will be able to give advice on the best way for you to obtain your medications, but it is good to know that there are now options from heading out in the rain clutching that flimsy green paper prescription.



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