Repeat Dispensing – Scripts automatically going to chemist


This video was produced in collaboration with NHS Digital. It was created primarily for pharmacies to explain the high level process behind eRD.

Download the video transcript.

Benefits of using electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)

It reduces unneccsary time by the patient ordering and collecting medicines. It reduces the risk of transmission and spread of coronavirus.

  • eRD allows the prescriber to authorise and issue a batch of repeatable prescriptions for up to 12 months with just one digital signature.
  • eRD stores all issues of the eRD prescriptions securely on the NHS Spine and automatically downloads them to the patient’s nominated community pharmacy at intervals set by the prescriber. 
  • The medicines can be accessed bythe chemist 7 days before the prescriptions are due.

How does the chemist know that you need medicines by Repeat Dispensing.

You need to tell the chemist. He may need your NHS number and if needed the date that the Repeat Dispensing Prescription was issued.

They can find it via with EPS Tracker

or the individual prescription codes (ETP numbers) generated when doing the repeat dispensing prescriptions. 



Your NHS number is on NHS documentation, existing repeat medication scripts.

The chemist may ask you which medicines you need on the repeat dispensing script


Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) is an integral part of EPS, which offers many extra benefits over paper repeat dispensing and repeat prescribing.

  • two-thirds of prescriptions issued in primary care are repeat prescriptions. These repeat prescriptions account for nearly 80% of NHS medicine costs for primary care
  • 410 million repeat prescriptions are generated every year – equivalent to an average of more than 375 per GP per week
  • it’s estimated that up to 330 million, or 80%, of all repeat prescriptions could eventually be replaced with eRD

The medicines issued by the repeat dispensing can be accessed by the chemist by using your NHS Number.

Info for chemists


This section contains information to help dispensers and dispensing appliance contractors use eRD.

*Throughout this toolkit, the terms ‘dispenser’ or dispensary refers to dispensing appliance contractors, pharmacies and dispensing staff.

eRD dispenser guide

eRD dispenser quick guide

eRD presentation

Explaining eRD to patients

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