Legislative changes this autumn should increase the uptake of electronic prescribing, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
Existing regulations still require paper prescriptions to be issued in certain circumstances. “Changes to these regulations will be made later this year, to expand electronic prescribing for nearly all prescriptions,” said the Department.
The change is intended to help the NHS make financial savings of up to £300 million by 2021. While practically all pharmacies are using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), as at June 2018, only 63 per cent of GP practices in England were issuing e-prescriptions.
The announcement is not expected to have a significant impact on GP dispensaries which are not yet part of the EPS system. Patients should be reminded that they remain able to choose where to have their prescriptions dispensed, and that they can return to using the GP dispensary at any point should they have used a pharmacy.
The DDA has created a poster to support dispensaries with patients using NHS digital services, and also issued advice about how to address aggressive marketing by internet pharmacies.