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

Christine Bond, Catriona Matheson, Sharon Williams, Pauline Williams, Peter Donnan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    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 £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
    JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
    Issue number453
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2000


    • Pharmacist
    • Prescribing costs
    • Repeat prescribing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Family Practice


    Dive into the research topics of 'Repeat prescribing: A role for community pharmacists in controlling and monitoring repeat prescriptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this