Alternative ways to get your medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic

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8 May 2020
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Some families might be finding it more difficult to get their regular medicines because of the need for physical distancing and shielding. However, it is very important that your child still continues to have their medicine as normal.

  • Make sure you order new supplies of medicines in plenty of time – you should aim to have 2 weeks supply at home.
  • Please do not order extra supplies as this may cause problems for other families.
  • Make sure the medicines you have at home have not gone past their use by date – this will be shown on the packaging.
  • Any out-of-date medicines should be given back to the pharmacy on your next visit.
There are a number of different ways which you can get your family's medicines.
  • Many prescriptions can be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice – known as your nominated pharmacy. This includes on-line pharmacy services if you are registered with them.
  • If you want to change to a different pharmacy, contact that pharmacy or your family doctor. If your child is registered with the NHS app, you may be able to use this to change your nominated pharmacy (see link at the end of the article).
  • If you have a paper prescription, you can take it to any pharmacy.
  • You can also ask someone you know to collect the medicines from the pharmacy for you. For certain medicines, such as controlled medicines, the person collecting the prescription may need to show some form of identification. You should remind them beforehand to take their ID, e.g. their driving licence or passport.
  • If your child has regular medicines, some pharmacies can arrange to order your next prescription each time you pick up medicines.
  • Ask your pharmacy if they are able to deliver medicines. Some have made arrangements with volunteer organisations. Make sure that any volunteers you use have been checked and approved for the role.
  • If you have specialist medicine(s) from a hospital pharmacy, contact the hospital pharmacy about collection or delivery.


To read more about the NHS app and how it allows patients across England to use it to nominate a pharmacy to have their repeat prescriptions sent to directly, click the link below: