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

C Bond, C Matheson, S Williams, Pauline Williams, P Donnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)


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 pound 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalThe British Journal of General Practice
Issue number453
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • pharmacist
  • repeat prescribing
  • prescribing costs


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