Medication 'won't stop' if your review is delayed

A local GP has responded to concerns raised by the public about annual medication reviews.
Photo of pharmacy waiting area (Healthwatch England)

A local GP leader has tried to reassure patients that their repeat prescriptions will not be stopped if they haven’t had a medication review by a certain date.

People who are on repeat prescriptions for chronic conditions usually have an annual review to check how they’re getting on with their medication and sometimes this involves a blood test.

But in a question to the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board on 21 January, a member of the public said some local people were finding it difficult to get through to surgeries to make appointments for reviews.

Dr Andy Ciecierski, a GP in Emmer Green and vice-chair of the board, responded by saying “no medication should stop just because a medication review has been missed by the expected date”. Repeat prescriptions remained on prescribing systems that pharmacists could request, regardless of when the last review had been carried out.

The pressures of the pandemic, plus a recent blood bottle shortage, may have caused some blood tests for medication reviews to have slipped but GPs had prioritised blood tests for those who most needed them, especially diabetic patients “and all of general practice is working to catch up with these blood tests”.

Dr Ciecierski added that patients may become anxious about reviews if pharmacists mentioned that their review was due, however the date was only guidance and “the medication should not be stopped unless the GP has specifically said to stop it”.

Looking for information about health and care?

Find advice and information to help you stay well and make decisions about your health and social care support.

Find advice and information