Patients will no longer be able to order their prescriptions through pharmacies in a bid to reduce money wasted on unwanted medicines.
Over-ordering of repeat prescriptions by pharmacies and other suppliers costs the NHS in Kirklees up to £1.4m a year, according to Huddersfield and North Kirklees health chiefs.
From April 1, pharmacies and other suppliers will no longer be able to order repeat prescriptions for patients through their own ordering services.
Patients will need to order their repeat prescription directly from their GP practice in person or online.
Those deemed vulnerable by their GP may be able to order their prescription over the phone.
Dr Steve Ollerton, Greater Huddersfield CCG clinical director and Skelmanthorpe GP, said: “These changes will mean that patients are in control of the ordering process and able to manage their own medication needs.
“Ordering of prescriptions by people other than patients or their carers can result in medicines being requested when they are not required, leading to waste.”
The changes also aim to reduce errors in the ordering and processing of repeat prescriptions by removing a number of steps where mistakes may happen.
For example, the names of some medicines can be difficult to remember, or pronounce, so errors can be made when they are requested over the phone.
Online ordering of prescriptions also reduces the administrative burden on GP practices and pharmacies.
This will free up their time and allow them to focus on other healthcare tasks.
As GP practices will not accept repeat requests from pharmacies or other suppliers patients will need to order their repeat prescriptions from their GP practice when they have seven to 10 days of medicines left.
If patients already order repeat prescriptions directly from their GP surgery this change will not affect them.
Pharmacies that collect prescriptions from GP surgeries and pharmacies that deliver medications and other items to patients will continue to do so.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and North Kirklees CCG said: “The new system is also safer as your GP can monitor your prescription more easily and discuss the prescription items that you continue to need at your regular review.
“The money saved through reducing medicines waste will be used to fund prescribing of medicines to the population of Kirklees.”
To register for online services you will need to visit your GP practice.
Further information can also be found on the CCG websites: www.northkirkleesccg.nhs.uk or www.greaterhuddersfieldccg.nhs.uk.