Does anyone else feel like they are spending their lives on the phone to their GP and in the queue at the chemists?

I get my prescriptions from my GP and the most he will prescribe is 28 days at a time on repeat (a month to them but not in my reality). I have just had to beg him to prescribe me two months worth of prednisolone, as I am trying to decrease the dose and the 5mg are now unsuitable. I have a term time address and a home time address (where my GP is) and can only put in repeats at one location so I am forever running out of something or other and having to rush home and wait around in the chemists. I accept he can't give me longer prescriptions for medication that requires up to date blood tests to prescribe but in this case medical advice is to stay on prednisolone and reduce it slowly, we know that if it goes to plan I have to be on it for the next 4 months at least which is what I want the one prescription to cover. I have annual blood tests to determine my dose of thyroxine (which I have been on for several years) and even then he would only give me 28 tablets on monthly repeats, fortunately in this case the pharmacist gave me the full 6 months worth on the grounds that my next blood test is 11 months away. How do other people manage their prescriptions, is everyone having to visit the chemist every 28 days? I can't tell if this is my doctor being obstinate or new guidelines because I never used to have problems getting my thyroxine for 6 months at a time? Thanks for any information/advice any one can give?

10 Replies

  • I only get a months worth, so yes, I have to collect them once a month, don't find it a big deal really :)

  • Yes I have to collect every 28 days, it does take a bit of juggling ! But I order over the internet and collect from my chemist. ;-)

  • Can you get it changed to a local chemist to pick up?

  • Hi Sash

    I also have been having issues.

    I am on nine different medications,

    Whichhas never been an issue before.

    but now they seem to be getting very strict on only giving them to you when you've completely ran out.

    I was finding they were all running out at different times of the month, so I was forever at the drs/chemist.

    But they do give me 56 at a time.

    When I was on prednisone they still allowed me 56.

    I drop my prescription at the drs and they take it to the chemist so I can collect it a couple of days later. So it might be worth enquiring about this.


  • I have the same problem with a relative of mine. The GP will only prescribe 28 days - in spite of the fact that I have pointed out (along with the chemist) that only ONE month in the year has 28 days!!!!!! 'Jobsworth' perhaps....

  • These are financial decisions. 1. the pharmacists receive a dispensing fee on top of the cost of the drugs that they buy. lengthening the interval between prescriptions affects their income. 2. It is more difficult to monitor usage of drugs when they are prescribed for longer intervals, and that is part of what GPs should be doing. 3. The GP is supposed to prescribe in original pack sizes. Unfortunately most of these come in 28 day pack size (others in 30 or 100, which is why you get all those little strips of pills in a plain box). 4. GPs are encouraged to prescribe in only one months supply as this has been shown to reduce waste, especially when drugs are changed. I think there are other reasons too, but I've forgotten....

    To reduce your hassle - set up a procedure with your favourite pharmacist so that they order your drugs and all you do is collect them? Is that possible? It isn't for me because the medical team keep changing what I'm taking!

  • Hi, thanks for the information. Like most people here some of mine are 28 days some 56 worth and they all run out at different times but I think understanding the process helps a bit. Its compounded as my GP is local to my parents as are the pharmacy's that they work with. I would find a new one local to me but I intend to move to wherever I can get a job when my course ends in August and am anxious about unknown GP surgeries because I've had some awful ones in the past. My parents local pharmacy were ordering them for me and said the next lot were due on the 14th Feb but when I went to collect them they said that the next issue date printed on my prescriptions was only the date that the GP releases them not the date that they will be ready so I have to wait a few days, whether that's true or they just forgot to request them I'm not sure but hopefully they'll be ready soon. Thanks for your help and hope you get your medication settled so it doesn't keep changing.

  • I only get 28 days on 5 of miy meds but 56 days on my BP med. I did ask the Pharmasist why only 28 days and his reply was that it was a NHS directive to cut waste/money. He also said that when a GP writes a prescription for a generic med (not a brand name) they supply the cheapest on the market. I wondered why I kept getting Prednisolone in boxes of a different make each time.

    The surgery has now updated to allow Patients to order meds online, rather than going down to the surgery. It has certainly cut down the ordering to collection time.

  • I use the boots repeat prescription service, which has worked very well. A couple of glitches but that's over several years. So they request the repeat from the doctors' surgery and it gets sent to them, and they prepare it and send me a text when it's ready to collect. To do this I had to fill in a form at Boots, and tell my GP, and that's it! When I have a change of meds then I have to make sure everybody knows in advance, but that's usually manageable. Before I did this I felt as if I was living in GP's and chemists. Now I just pop in to chemist when the tell me every few weeks.

  • I use the pharmacy attached to my GP's surgery but usually the nearest pharmacy to the GP's offer a repeat script/delivery service like the Boots one mentioned above. I registered with mine so just phone up and ask them to collect the script from the GP's if I can't get there. Only once have I asked them to deliver as I have been able to organise it so I or my OH can collect. I have a "shipping order" also. however, I am lucky in so far as the pharmacy opens till 10pm Saturdays and 8pm Sundays. Rare but very convenient. My husband will collect providing I phone ahead to confirm he is on his way and he takes my NHS Prepaid Script card. As Helix says, it helps a lot.

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