14 July 2023
In May this year, the Social Security Minister, Deputy Elaine Millar, put steps in place so that
Islanders can receive prescriptions to cover a longer period.
Prior to the change, most medicines
could only be prescribed for 30 days before a repeat prescription or GP consultation was required.
Now a GP can issue 90 days’ worth of medicines on a single prescription, which can be repeated a
further three times. The change to the period of supply will free time for GP practices and reduce
costs and inconvenience for Islanders.
Deputy Elaine Millar said: “It is important that Islanders are aware of the changes that we have
made to support their health and wellbeing. Earlier this year I announced the launch of an
investment package for pharmacy which is being rolled out over the next three to four years. Two
months in, there are already benefits that individuals can access straight away.
“A new medicines adherence service was launched on 15 May, and under this service there are
already 800 Islanders receiving support from their pharmacy to help them take their medicines as
“We have also made changes to increase the period of supply for prescription medicines, which will
support Islanders who receive repeat prescriptions. These Islanders can now speak to their GP
about issuing a single prescription for up to 90 days’ worth of medicines that pharmacies can
dispense all at once. This is good news for patients with long term conditions and will give their GP
freedom to prescribe to suit the needs of patients.”
Adrian Noon, Responsible Officer, Primary Care Governance Team, said: “The change to the law to
increase the maximum period of supply for prescription medicines will allow GPs to follow
guidance issued by the British Medical Association, that the period of supply for any medicine
should be selected considering the circumstance of the patient.
“Some medicines will still need to be issued over 30-days, particularly in the case of a new medicine
which the patient may not tolerate or if the patient has a condition that needs frequent
monitoring. However most people receiving routine repeat prescriptions need to be reviewed only
annually and would be appropriate for a longer period of supply. This will mean fewer trips to the
GP practice and to the pharmacy.
“We expect the transition from a 30-day period to longer 60- or 90-day periods of supply to
happen over the coming months as GPs review patient records and update the appropriate
prescribing period. I encourage patients to talk to their GPs about their repeat prescription and
make sure only the medicines they actually need are being routinely repeated.”
Changes to the period of supply are part of the £12 million investment package to support
community pharmacies which was announced in March.
The package of investment includes:
- Development of new pharmacy-based services, to provide Islanders advice about medicines
and minor ailments.
- Funding to employ or train technicians to support the work of the registered pharmacist.
- Budgets to support registered pharmacists to become prescribers.
- Increases to the fee paid to pharmacies for dispensing medicines.
- Increased period of supply for prescription medicine.