Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) is an integral part of EPS, which offers many extra benefits over paper repeat dispensing and repeat prescribing.
- two-thirds of prescriptions issued in primary care are repeat prescriptions. These repeat prescriptions account for nearly 80 per cent of NHS medicine costs for primary care
- 410 million repeat prescriptions are generated every year – equivalent to an average of more than 375 per GP per week
- it’s estimated that up to 330 million, or 80 per cent, of all repeat prescriptions could eventually be replaced with eRD
- this could save 2.7 million hours of GP and practice time
NHS Digital have recently published an Electronic Repeat Dispensing Toolkit, available at https://digital.nhs.uk/article/913/Electronic-repeat-dispensing-for-prescribers which contains useful tools. You can also sign up for some eRD webinars to find out more.
The toolkit includes an e-learning package, developed by NECS in conjunction with NHS Digital which can also be accessed through the NECS Medicines website https://medicines.necsu.nhs.uk/education-training/erd-elearning/
In order to increase the benefits being gained by patients and the NHS from Repeat Dispensing, it was agreed in September 2014 that from 1 March 2015 there will be a new requirement in the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework for pharmacies to give advice to appropriate patients about the benefits of the repeat dispensing service.
This is part of a broader programme to increase use of the service, which will also engage GP practices and other stakeholders such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Some useful information is available on the PSNC website: Repeat Dispensing : PSNC Main site
The new regulations come in to force from the start of March and state that:
“Pharmacy contractors must ensure that appropriate advice about the benefits of repeat dispensing is given to any patient who:
has a long term, stable medical condition (that is, a medical condition that is unlikely to change in the short to medium term), and requires regular medicine in respect of that medical condition, including, where appropriate, advice that encourages the patient to discuss repeat dispensing of that medicine with a prescriber at the provider of primary medical services whose patient list the patient is on.”
As a result of this regulation change practices may start to have increasing number of requests from patients interested in using this service and may therefore wish to consider how they will deal with these requests.