Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

Updated on 23rd April 2020 at 4:16 pm


Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) enables patients on long-term, stable prescriptions to receive their medication at a pharmacy of their choice for up to 12 months, using the power of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).

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
  • this could save 2.7 million hours of GP and practice time

Which patients are suitable?

  • Patients on stable therapy
  • Patients with long-term conditions
  • Patients on multiple therapy e.g. hypertension, diabetes, asthma etc.
  • Patients that can appropriately self-manage seasonal conditions

Benefits for patients

  • no need to contact the surgery to reorder at regular intervals unless their condition changes
  • retain regular contact with their dispenser, who is responsible for checking that their circumstances haven’t changed since the previous issue of the prescription was collected
  • change nominated dispenser at any time during the duration of the eRD prescription 
  • if clinically appropriate can request the next issue early or obtain more than one prescription, for example when going on holiday


Find out more by watching this video:










Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) and Covid-19

Benefits of eRD in response to COVID-19:

  • Reduces footfall to the GP practice and to the community pharmacy, supporting social distancing
  • Reduces workload for prescribers allowing better prioritisation of resources
  • Controlled management of the supply chain reducing the number of temporarily unavailable medicines
  • Effective eRD can save up to 46 minutes a day of GP time
  • If 80% of all repeats issued as repeat dispensing, 2.7 million GP hours could be saved