Repeat Prescriptions Made Easier is a sponsored post in association with Pharmacy2U.
Back in the crazy baby days, I used to wonder what life would be like when Flea was in her teens.
I imagined a lot of leisurely coffees being consumed while I relaxed on my sofa, free of all those parenting obligations. I’d be sitting on a sofa, wearing slippers, and flicking through a whole magazine from front to back. Without being interrupted. Bliss.
And then there’s the reality.
Actually, parenting a young teen is potentially the most hectic parenting stage of all.
There’s Scouts and swimming lessons and three hockey coaching sessions a week, plus matches at weekends. There’s shopping and bowling and all the other things your teen wants to do without you, but which require you to be designated driver.
Added to which there’s a full-time job, a dog and a hundred domestic jobs to think about.
So it’s hardly surprising that I regularly find myself shaking my asthma inhaler and think, “I really MUST get to the GP’s to get a new inhaler… now when do I have the time?”
How do Online Pharmacies Work?
Pharmacy2U is a tempting alternative. The company is an online pharmacist. So they process electronic prescriptions from your doctor, then deliver the medicine to you, via the post.
In every way, Pharmacy2U is a regular, independent pharmacy, licensed to provide services to NHS patients. The difference is that, apart from a head office, it just doesn’t have a physical presence.
The huge upside of the service is convenience. For me it means no more trying to find time to get to the GP surgery, or fighting for a parking space outside the high street chemist to pick up medicine.
Pharmacy2U is brilliant if, like me, you have a regular prescription. Registering with Pharmacy2U tells your GP that they are now your ‘nominated’ pharmacy and any future repeat prescriptions will be fulfilled by them.
Registering with Pharmacy2U
When you register with the site, you pop in your postcode and then choose your local GP surgery from the list. The site then checks your details and once approved, that’s it. The approval process can take a day or so, although in my case it was all done in under 5 minutes.
The majority of prescriptions will be sent out 1-2 days later via Royal Mail’s 48-hour service. Pharmacy2U recommends ordering prescriptions 7 days before you run out of a medicine, to allow for time for delivery.
My asthma is well-controlled and mostly triggered by weather changes these days, so my deliveries don’t need to be regular.
Instead, I log onto my GP website to request the medication and then the request is shared with Pharmacy2U. From there, it’s 2-4 days to get a new inhaler.
Some GP surgeries will let you order direct from Pharmacy2U, but my GP has a slightly different policy, so I order from them via their website, and the prescription is then approved, and passed to my chosen pharmacy electronically.
For me, the service is reassuring because it’s not relying on my finding time to actually physically go to the surgery, request the prescription, go back two days later to collect the prescription, THEN go to the pharmacy to collect it. I’m not great at remembering this sort of life admin.
Most medicines ordered from Pharmacy2U are popped through the letterbox in secure, discreet boxes. We have a closed off porch so I’m happy that I’ll never miss a delivery, and there’s no risk that the dog will eat some medicines!
If that’s not the case you can request ‘signed for’ deliveries, and this will be required where medicines are too big for your letterbox, or for certain controlled medications.
Is An Online Pharmacy for You?
A useful feature of the site for those with regular repeat prescriptions is that the site will send you a reminder to re-order 23 days after your medicine was last ordered – so you are less likely to forget to order.
Pharmacy2U is really best for repeat prescriptions. If you have an urgent or one-off prescription then it’s important to get the GP to print it on paper, so you can collect it locally as usual. There will be times you definitely don’t want to wait four days before starting a treatment!
Of course, an online pharmacy isn’t suitable for every scenario. Personally, I’m not sure I’d want to trust my postie (as lovely as he is) to deliver something that was a life-and-death medication. And for some elderly patients or those with complex medical needs, having the in-person contact with a pharmacist is really beneficial.
But for those of us with busy jobs who struggle to find five minutes in the day to pick up a routine repeat prescription, it’s just one less thing to worry about. And I tend to think it frees up my GP’s surgery and the local pharmacy for people who really need that one-to-one personal service.
Disclosure: Pharmacy2U invited me to register for the service. I paid the usual NHS prescription fee myself, but I was paid a fee for my time in writing this review.