Pharmacy insights

Can I transfer my prescription to any pharmacy?

So you are tired of waiting in the queue each time you visit your regular pharmacy to pick your medication up … and now wonder can I take my prescription elsewhere?

The short answer is yes you can.

Taking paper (FP10) prescription to any pharmacy

Having a paper prescription in hand allows you to go and get your medication from any pharmacy. Some patients get confused when name of the pharmacy is present in top left corner of the prescription form. Any computer generated name of pharmacy in top left corner of the prescription indicates pharmacy nomination, meaning your choice of pharmacy to process your prescriptions.

Normally for nomination to happen you need give a consent to a pharmacy or ask your surgery to forward your prescription to a specific pharmacy for processing. In practice some pharmacies nominate patients without a consent for example when you bring your prescription for the first time to the pharmacy. This is a poor practice which is not allowed.

Despite nomination in place, you can still take your paper prescription to any pharmacy.

Transferring electronic prescription to any pharmacy

When ordering your medication you can choose for your prescription to be send electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. This can be done by selecting pharmacy on the repeat part of your prescription.

Once prescription is signed by your GP, it is transmitted electronically to selected pharmacy.

Can you transfer electronic prescription once it has been sent to a pharmacy?

In this case you need to contact a pharmacy where your prescription was sent and ask the pharmacy team to ‘return prescription to the spine’. You can do it over the phone or in person by visiting pharmacy.

You don’t need copy of your electronic prescription to have it dispensed in another pharmacy. However, you can ask for a copy of the dispensing token (prescription) and take it with you to another pharmacy.

Alternatively once electronic prescription is returned to spine you can walk into any pharmacy and the pharmacy team will be able to track it down for you.

Optionally you can ask to be nominated in the new pharmacy you visit.

Partly dispensed prescriptions

Partly dispensed prescription (paper or electronic) can’t normally be taken away once supply was made and patient left the pharmacy with one of the prescribed items. Dispensed drugs are not returnable or reusable once they left the pharmacy, consequently pharmacy needs to send prescription off to NHS for payment purposes. If one item on your prescription is for example out of stock and you decide to try to get it from another pharmacy, the best option is to contact your surgery and have the item prescribed again on separate prescription.

I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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