A New Medicine
If you are prescribed a new medicine such as an anticoagulant (a blood-thinning medicine) or a medicine to treat asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure you can get extra support and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a free scheme called the New Medicine Service (NMS).
As part of the scheme, the pharmacist will support you over several weeks to make sure you get the best out of the medicine and use it safely. Click here for more information.
If you have medicines regularly, your pharmacist can offer repeat dispensing services. You can get a prescription from your GP that covers prescriptions for up to a year, then you can get your medicine supplied at regular intervals without having to go to your GP.
The pharmacist will normally chat to you every time you pick up your medicines to check how you are getting on with them and whether you are experiencing any undue problems or side effects. If so, the pharmacist can talk to your GP about this. The repeat dispensing service could be suitable if you:
- do not want to go to your GP practice every time to get your repeat prescription
- collect your medicines from the same place most of the time or use a prescription collection service now
Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
Some GPs now offer EPS to patients for repeat dispensing of prescriptions. Your GP sends your prescription electronically to a pharmacy you choose to get your prescription medicines from.
You will have more choice about where to get your medicines from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop.
It may not be suitable for you if you:
- don’t get prescriptions very often
- pick up your medicines from different places
For more information on the Electronic Prescription Service click here.
Reviewing Your Medicines
A Medicines Use Review (MUR) is a free NHS service offered by community pharmacies in the UK. The review involves an appointment with your pharmacist, in a private consultation room. It is an opportunity for you to discuss your medicines with a pharmacist, to understand how your medicines should be used and why they have been prescribed, as well as solving any problems you may have with them such as side effects.
You are eligible for an MUR if you:
- regular take more than one prescription medicine
- take medicines for a long term condition such as asthma, COPD, arthritis, diabetes or epilepsy
- You have recently been discharged from hospital
You can ask for an MUR, or your pharmacist or GP might recommend one. Afterwards, you'll receive a written record of the consultation and a copy of it will be sent to your GP.
Don’t forget you can ask your pharmacist for advice about your medicines at any time.
Collecting Old Medicines
If your medicine is out of date, unwanted, or some of it is left over after you have stopped taking it, don't throw it away with your usual household rubbish. Never burn it or flush it down the toilet, as this can harm the environment. Take it to your pharmacy to be disposed of safely and let your GP know if you are no longer taking them. Unused medicines are a waste of NHS resources.
To get the best from your medicines:
- Take them as prescribed
- Discuss with your pharmacist or doctor about the medicines being prescribed for you