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What is repeat dispensing?

Repeat dispensing is an alternative model for prescribing and dispensing regular medicines to patients on stable long–term treatment, where repeat supplies are managed by the patient’s pharmacy of choice. There are a number of differences and added benefits between the repeat dispensing model and traditional repeat prescribing processes, including:

    • the prescriber produces a repeatable prescription and a set of identical ‘batch’ forms – the number required is equal to the number of times the prescription is to be repeated and this is to be indicated on the form, for example, 1 of x, 2 of x

    • each repeatable prescription can be dispensed at regular intervals, for example, monthly for a period of up to 12 months

    • a dispensing interval does not have to be set by the prescriber, so that the pharmacist has maximum flexibility to make a professional decision when to dispense the next supply for the patient. This is of particular benefit for patients who may be travelling or if the prescription is for seasonal medicines or ‘when required’ medicines

    • patients will call at their chosen pharmacy for their continued supply of medicines without the need to reorder prescriptions during the life of the repeatable prescription

    • the outstanding repeats left on the prescription can be cancelled and the remaining batch issues destroyed as and when required, to respond to changes in medicines, clinical condition or patient circumstances

    • the batch forms are best kept stored securely at the pharmacy or can be retained by the patient

    • the duration of the repeatable prescription can be aligned to a patient review, monitoring procedure or other clinical and administrative functions of the practice

    • at the point of dispensing each instalment, the pharmacist will be responsible for checking patient adherence and other clinical factors that are relevant to the appropriateness of the continued supply, for example, whether there are any problems the patient may be encountering with their medicines, whether the patient has recently been in hospital or had changes made to their medication regimen. Any issues of concern to the pharmacist will be reported to the practice.

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