Are you a prescribed medicine skipper?


New research from Pharmacy2U, has revealed one in three of us fails to collect our prescriptions following GP visits. I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading, so delved a little further into people’s reasons given as part of the survey.

I’ve had a shocking run of ill health over Christmas and was diagnosed with severe bronchitis. Without three courses of antibiotics I would still be in a state of constant breathlessness, incessant painful coughing and insomnia. For me: when I need to see my GP, whatever they prescribe, goes. I need their help to get better and they know which medications work best to get my chest problems under control. That prescription sheet doesn’t leave my hand until I’ve handed it in to the pharmacist.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed the main reasons given for not handing over their prescription were: they were too busy to go to a chemist’s, 15% also said they just couldn’t be bothered to go. One in five were put off by the price and did not want to pay for their prescription, 12% disagreed with their doctor’s diagnosis while others decided they would just get better without the prescribed medicine, or looked for cheaper alternatives elsewhere.

Additionally, 34% of patients on regular medication admitted to forgetting to pick up repeat prescriptions. As a regular medication taker for asthma myself, I can imagine this could really lead to problems with long-term health conditions. 

“Particularly worrying are the numbers of patients on repeat prescriptions who regularly forget to pick up medication and run out,” says Julian Harrison, commercial director of Pharmacy2U. “Among them are people suffering from serious, long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma and COPD, where compliance is crucial.”

Getting your health right is so important. If you are a prescribed medicine skipper at the moment, here’s some helpful tips to try on for size:

Many chemists offer a free prescription pick-up service where they will collect your prescriptions from your GP surgery, so you only have the one trip to make to your local chemist to collect. If you really don’t have time: use the online prescription services all the major pharmacies offer, pop your prescription in the post and have the items delivered to your door. 

Finally, Cost-wise, if you have to buy more than 4 items over a three-month period, buying a pre-payment prescription certificate is a really great money saver – I can’t recommend this enough. Saves me a small fortune!