By - Julian Harrison Research has revealed that a third of patients waste their GP’s time by not bothering to pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy.

The survey of 2,000 patients found that nearly 33 per cent walk out of their GP’s surgery with a prescription only to head straight home without going to the pharmacy to collect it. Most said they ‘didn’t have time’, while others said they decided they would rather get better by themselves. Twenty-two percent didn’t want to pay for their medication, with 15 per cent admitting that they couldn’t be bothered to collect it. Thirty-four per cent of patients on regular medication admitted to forgetting to pick up repeat prescriptions and running out.

The survey was commissioned by NHS mail order pharmacy Pharmacy2U, which manages repeat medication requests for patients from hundreds of GP practices.

Julian Harrison, Commercial Director at Pharmacy2U said:

“Given the ever-increasing pressure on the NHS and on primary care in particular, it is disappointing to discover that patients who have taken the time and trouble to visit their GP do not complete the episode of healthcare by having their prescription filled.rn

“Particularly worrying are the numbers of patients on repeat prescriptions who regularly forget to pick up medication and run out. Among them are people suffering from serious, long-term complaints such as diabetes, asthma and COPD, where compliance is crucial. Improving patient participation in managing their repeat medication is one of the areas Pharmacy2U works on. We offer a reminder service to patients who use our mail order repeat script service, which helps them avoid running out of medication and reduces the number of last minute requests to GPs.”

rnOne in five patients (22 per cent) surveyed said they didn’t want to pay for the prescription, while twelve per cent disagreed with their GP’s diagnosis. Other reasons for non-compliance were possible side effects and patients being too embarrassed to pick up the medication.

One in eight patients admitted they had lost a prescription in the past, while nearly 60 per cent had found the same treatment cheaper over the counter.