Electronic Repeat Dispensing - making it work (extended version)

The number of medicines prescribed per person has increased annually placing an enormous workload on practices, patients and pharmacies. In the NHS in England over 1 billion prescription items are prescribed and dispensed each year. Electronic repeat dispensing is sometimes known as batch prescribing but it is different to electronic prescribing, managed repeats or usual repeat prescriptions because the GP has authorised up to a years’ worth of medications to be collected regularly from the pharmacy. Electronic repeat dispensing, also known as eRD, has been proven to reduce the workload and improve both medication safety and patient experience. We asked two GPs and a pharmacist to tell us their experience of implementing eRD; the challenges, the benefits and why they would never go back.