Family: Cutting Down on Admin with Online Prescriptions

When I had toddlers I used to look forward to my kids growing up. At least when they’re teenagers – although I might have to put up with moods – they’ll be able to fend for themselves a bit, I thought. And it’s true. Teenagers are so old that they can bake (every time you leave the house), organise their own social lives (but not their transport), and get themselves out of bed on time for their 6am training sessions at the ice rink.

What I couldn’t possibly understand back then was this: the parents of teenagers were right. It gets harder, not easier as your kids get older; you get even less control over what they do with their lives, but still have all the responsibility when they need you to pick up their dropped balls (or PE kits, maths books, and dance costumes). Add in a sport that requires early morning training sessions, and a medical condition that needs repeat prescriptions, and parents become full time PA’s and chauffeurs to their teenage offspring, making the toddler years look like a doddle sometimes.

I was paid a fee to try the Pharmacy2U service, and write about my experiences. All opinion and content is my own, and I really would recommend it if you have repeat prescriptions. 

I’d heard about online prescriptions, and often wondered if it would work out to be more complicated than it sounded, so I was skeptical when Pharmacy2U got in touch to see if I’d try their service for the purposes of a blog review. With type 1 diabetes, my daughter has a lot of repeat prescriptions, some of which need to stay refrigerated until use, so there were lots of potential hurdles in my mind. But I figured anything that promised to free up a bit of time (remembering what we need and when, putting in the prescription request, waiting just the right amount of time before turning up at the pharmacy to make sure they’d had time to order the items in, etc.) was worth trying, so I went ahead and registered.

 The process is really simple, and I was surprised by how quickly I had her signed up. You just create an account, then search for prescription items and add them to your list. If you have the original box from an existing item it’s even easier – just download the Pharmacy2U app and scan the barcode for it to be added to your items. Once you’ve received an order you don’t even have to do this, as Pharmacy2U get a copy of your repeat prescriptions from the GP and add them automatically to your list of potential items to order ready for the next time. Maddie has a lot of things on her list, so this was a pleasant surprise the second time I went to make a request.I placed our first order via my laptop, and my second through the app, and both times were much quicker than I’d expected. I got an email straight away to let me know my request had been received, then another when the prescription was authorised by our GP. I heard from Pharmacy2U once more when the order was despatched, and again from Royal Mail when it was due to be delivered. The whole process took about 5 days.

I was slightly concerned about how our items would be kept cold, but I needn’t have worried. Everything was well packaged, with the insulin wrapped in insulating materials, with a cold pack to keep it at the correct temperature until I could get it into the fridge. For refrigerated products you do have to be home to take delivery as Royal Mail won’t leave it on your doorstep, but I think that’s an extra layer of security that ensures your medication is in good condition when you receive it.Now, I don’t deal with change very well, but the Pharmacy2U process was so simple that I’ve completely switched all our repeat prescriptions to the service. Each time I order, I get notified if there’s something I haven’t ordered for a while that the service thinks I might need, and because I was ordering in the run up to Christmas, I got helpful reminders that things might be slower over the festive period, so I could stock up if I needed to. I’ll even now get email reminders of items I might need as the system logs how frequently I normally order.

The only time I hit a snag was when my GP decided I was being too zealous, and refused my prescription order. I got a phone call from the surgery to say it had been refused, and a couple of days later, an email from Pharmacy2U telling me they hadn’t received my prescription. At this point, I argued with the GP and managed to push the prescription through, but the process had hiccupped by that point, and the prescription got sent through to my pharmacy instead of to the online service, meaning I had to go and collect it as usual. But barring an overly cautious GP, I can see us using Pharmacy2U for all our repeat prescriptions going forward.

Now I just need someone to figure out in advance when my daughter is going to forget her art homework, and order in olives/passion fruit/spelt flour in time for her food tech lesson.

* If you’d like to try an online prescription service, you can visit the Pharmacy2U website to find out more, and to sign up. This review is based on my personal experiences only, and no responsibility is taken by me for your own experiences with Pharmacy2U, or any other online prescription service.

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