I really don’t understand the thinking behind the NHS in practice stopping doctors prescribing more than one month’s pills in one go. Now I don’t pay for prescriptions, I’ve no financial incentive in wanting this changed, but this week my local pharmacist did make me wonder.
I have a regular prescription for statins which not even a more healthy weight and lifestyle has been able to reduce the recommendation for. It’s been unchanged at a low dose for some years now and every year I get a set of blood tests to check. So every four weeks I get a box of 28 pills.
There’s a branch of Boots in my village – one pharmacist and one shop assistant, so not a large branch. Boots the corporate parent pushes their we’ll get repeat prescriptions and text you when they’re ready service. It’s convenient, as I walk past the chemist several times a week. The only problem is that they can’t cope.
So yesterday, after yet another failure to notify me that a prescription was ready, I complained. The pharmacist explained that they get 300 prescriptions a day and just can’t keep up, as they can’t send the text (which they effectively do manually) until they’ve prepared and checked the prescription.
So, assuming a good proportion of that 300 prescriptions per day are repeats and constant over a significant period, why not do them 2 or 3 monthly and cut the workload – and frankly the cost to the NHS in admin overhead, which is probably higher than the actual cost of cheap generic statin pills.
When I did pay for prescriptions, I did complain to the GP, who referred me to the regional health authority who bounced the responsibility back to the GP. maybe I’ll have another go.