Repeat prescribing: A role for community pharmacists in controlling and monitoring repeat prescriptions


Bond CM, Matheson C, Williams S, Williams P & Donnan P (2000) Repeat prescribing: A role for community pharmacists in controlling and monitoring repeat prescriptions. British Journal of General Practice, 50 (453), pp. 271-275.

Background. Traditional systems of managing repeat prescribing have been criticised for their lack of clinical and administrative controls. Aim. To compare a community pharmacist-managed repeat prescribing system with established methods of managing repeat prescribing. Method. A randomised controlled intervention study (19 general medical practices, 3074 patients, 62 community pharmacists). Patients on repeat medication were given sufficient three-monthly scripts, endorsed for monthly dispensing, to last until their next clinical review consultation with their general practitioner (GP). The scripts were stored by a pharmacist of the patient's choice. Each monthly dispensing was authorised by the pharmacist, using a standard protocol. The cost of the drugs prescribed and dispensed was calculated. Data on patient outcomes were obtained from pharmacist-generated patient records and GP notes. Results. A total of 12.4% of patients had compliance problems, side-effects, adverse drug reactions, or drug interactions identified by the pharmacist. There were significantly more problems identified in total in the intervention group. The total number of consultations, deaths, and non-elective hospital admissions was the same in both groups. Sixty-six per cent of the study patients did not require their full quota of prescribed drugs, representing 18% of the total prescribed costs (estimated annual drug cost avoidance of £43 per patient). Conclusion. This system of managing repeat prescribing has been demonstrated to be logistically feasible, to identify clinical problems, and to make savings in the drugs bill.

pharmacist; repeat prescribing; prescribing costs

British Journal of General Practice: Volume 50, Issue 453

Publication date30/04/2000
Date accepted by journal04/08/1999
PublisherRoyal College of General Practitioners