Asthma UK community forum

Number of items on a prescription


My doctor has just decided to put the number of salbutamol (Ventolin) inhalers I can order at any one time down to 1 inhaler instead of 2, he says that they are under increased preasure to only prescribe 1 dues to somthing that I forget.

Originally he agreed with me on the visit he would prescribe 2, but on putting in a prescription for 2 this time they have refused to put on 2.

Unfortunately, I do get through my inhalers really quickly, and am also seeing a lung specialist to see if we can reduce my usage.

However my concern is that I work away quite alot, and obvioulsly have no time to be picking up my inhalers more frequently than normal, has anyone else experienced this and is my GP right in what he his doing, I understand that they need to keep costs down but im now worried that, I may run out and have some problems.

Thanks for any help.

8 Replies

Put in two prescription requests at a time. Your GP should have no problems with this as it is the same amount of medication as you usually get in one go.

If you don't already have one, get a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (ask your pharmacist about them) and you won't have to worry about the cost of two prescription items instead of one.


I dont know if any rules ref this have changed but I have just collected my repeat presc and it had 2 of each of my inhailers listed!




If only that were true, but unfortunately they will ring and advise that I can only have the one and the other is a duplicate.

Ive actually contacted NHS direct and was told that this is down to NICE and there is a guideline on doctors assessing the needs of a patient, NHS irect is sending me this report and I will be arming myself when I see them next.

Ill try and update this post when I get this info


If that's the case, how do people order extra medication for when they're going on holiday?! You may need to write a note with the scripts so that the receptionists know why you've put two requests for the same thing in, but it is certainly a possibility. Remember that it is the receptionists who first encounter your repeat requests, so they will indeed think it's a duplicate unless you tell them otherwise.

Incidentally, my advice here is not based on personal experience; I asked my wife (CathBear), who is a GP.



I was given a prescription last week by my Gp who prescribed me my usual 2 salbutamol inhalers...She told me she was going on holiday and didn't want me suffering whilst she was away, lol...( She knows that I am not the best person either to remember where I leave things, and as I am on sick leave atm I think my inhalers are still in my locker at work lol)

But I have never had a problem with 2 being prescribed, I think you should go query it with your Gp practice..

Sam x


it must be practice preferences. my gp gives me 2 lots of some things like theo and ventolin and flixotide, and then 1 lot of others like serevent, not sure of hte rhyme and reason, but never been told can't have 2 at a time, in fact they automatically gave me 2 ventolin on repeat 1st tiem i went so i assumed it was just standard practice. other way to do it is to have loads of spares, so put in scripts each week or so so you ahve some spares, and then replace them when they run out, that way you always have a few knocking around.

good luck, hope you can sort something out with your gp


I have to say that I did experience something similar to this - and due to the fact that I was getting through one of my inhalers in 8 days - if ran to clock with no extra puffs I was continuously up and down collecting repeats...

Luckilly I spoke to the Nurse and explained how this is near impossible and sometimes I misjudged the days so would end up with not giving them there required 72hours notice for my repeat and then really miff them off...

She saw sense - did the maths of ow many actuations etc and hey presto I'm ok now! BUT I have been told in no uncertain terms that this is not the norm and it is purely as I am in such a 'bad' way! They don't wish to encourage such funds - equally I have been asked if still need the more expensive drugs as have been asked if can cut down on patients needing these! I assume that they get negative reps/lose some level of funding if do?

The other thing you can do - if desperate - is register as a temporary resident where ever you may be and collect prescription that way - I had to do this when I was told that I had ordered too many inhalers - wouldn't listen - but it was the secretary who declined the request!


Right I had the info from NHS Direct about the guidelines and basically all it says is that GP's are asked to choose the least expensive option for the patient, so basically the way I see it is that it looks good if they are only prescribing one.

I do have a Prescription payment card, which is obviously great but id be gutted if i actually had to pay per prescription.

Incidently, when I picked up my Prescription, they gave me 2 inhalers anyway, after already sending in another request after the telephone conversation, so what the secretary was saying is beyond me.

Anyway the document was published by NICE on the 26th of March this year so fairly recent.

Havent been in to the doctors yet to see what they have to say, but will do when i actually get a chance.


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