What is the situation regarding repeat prescriptions that keep you going for longer than usual? I spend up to four months abroad in the summer and my doctor is reluctant to prescribe medication for long periods on the grounds that he cannot monitor my health while I am away. Any suggestions?
I'm sorry that nobody has replied to your post sooner. I'm not sure what the official guidance on prescribing timescales is. My local surgery prefers to give me only 28 days at a time which I suspect helps their finances. I expect and hope that GPs have discretion to offer bigger batches if appropriate.
If you are physically able to go away for 4 months then it would seem unreasonable for your GP to restrict you in this way.
I hope you have managed to make some progress
Pokermid. I can't get the link to work
Tricky one this. I've read the NHS is only responsible for providing up to 3 months abroad and for longer periods you need to source a pharmacist at your destination. I can't find a link that works and covers all you need.
I'm facing a similar situation for a World Cruise after my GDNF trial if the price is right.
Where are you going if you don't mind being asked and can say?
I'd really try to sort out a local pharmacist at my destination that can use the EPS process and your PPC. Travelling with £1,000s of drugs risks customs interest, loss or theft that may not be insurable. Plus the possible need for different drugs while you're abroad.
If the local pharmacists won't or can't help you could try:
1. Make sure you have a Prescription Prepayment Certificate paid annually or by DDM that renews in a month when in the UK so the post can be seen to. Anyone with PD that doesn't have a PPC. WHY NOT for £104 a year for all your meds for any condition.
2. Get your PD consultant on board with the benefit of spending 4 months abroad and your annual or more regular review dates adjusted so that your GP can receive confirmation that your medication requirements are relatively stable and they see no reason to change before your next consultation. If this isn't the case as meds change regularly or you have a history of reactions to drugs, can you blame the NHS for their usual stance on 28 day periods, on health grounds as well as the risk if £1000s of wasted drugs.
3. Talk to your GP Practice Manager and local pharmacists about how they would pefer to handle long trips abroad. The Electronic Prescription Service will enable the pharmacist to renew your prescription without you contacting the GP provided you're not due a GP 6 month review while you're abroad (discuss with your GP Practice manager). The pharmacist will want your business and reasonable requests can be worked out.
4. If up to 3 months is possible, but not 4 months try asking for an extra month now as a buffer for being unable to get to the pharmacist exactly on the 28th day each time and what I call my mobility pack - Small supply of spare tablets in the homes I visit regularly and the cars I use. About 28 days worth please.
5. Bear in mind that 4 months could easily mean 5 x 28day prescriptions Can someone pick up your prescription for you. Best to get your PPC details on the pharmacy systems so they aren't charged. Once picked up how feasible is it to get them to your destination every 28 days. Long shot maybe to ask Boots about pharmacy links abroad. Must search that.
Good luck and hope you can enjoy your time abroad.