Free NHS New Medicine Service

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Information & Advice


Free NHS New Medicine Service

The New Medicine Service is a free NHS service to help you get the most out of your newly-prescribed medicine.

If you have recently been given a prescription for a new medicine to treat a long-term condition such as asthma or type 2 diabetes, it can help you feel more in control of your health if you understand more about the condition and how to get the most out of your medicine.

New Medicine Service: What is it?

The New Medicine Service is a free NHS service available in England through your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist may recommend it if you have been given a new medicine to treat:

  • Asthma
  • Respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Conditions where you take a medicine to control the way your blood clots

Although this service is only available in England, if you live elsewhere in the UK and have any questions about your new medicines, please do ask your local Boots pharmacist. They will always be happy to offer advice and answer queries.

New Medicine Service: How will it help me?

The service can help you:

  • Find out more about the new medicine you're taking
  • Identify any problems you may be having with the medication
  • Get answers to any questions or concerns you may have about your medicine
  • Find the easiest and most effective way to take your medicine. For example, you may benefit from taking it at a certain time of day
  • Make your own decisions about managing your condition on an ongoing basis

How does the New Medicine Service work?

When your pharmacist dispenses your new medicine, they will ask you if you would like to take advantage of the NHS New Medicine Service. The service consists of just three steps:

Step one

Your Boots pharmacist will talk to you about your new medicine

At this stage you will be asked to sign a consent form, to allow your information to be shared with relevant departments in the NHS who may be somehow involved in your care. We will need this consent before we can continue with the service. If you don't want to give your consent, the pharmacist will still be able to give you some advice about your medicines, but won't be able to offer you the full service.

Step two

Your pharmacist will ask you to come into store for a consultation one to two weeks after you've received your medicine

This would be a confidential consultation in a private area of the store. Or if you prefer, you could have a telephone conversation with the pharmacist. Your Boots pharmacist will ask how you're getting on with the medicine and find out if you're having any problems. They'll offer the information and support you might need.

It's also the chance for you to ask any questions and tell them any concerns you may have with your new medicine. To help you prepare, you might want to consider:

  • Reading the leaflet that comes with your medicine
  • Write down any questions you might have, just to act as a prompt
  • Keep a list of any concerns you have had since starting to take the medicine
  • Bring your medicine with you to the pharmacy, or have it nearby if you are talking on the phone
  • Doing a little bit of research about your medicine or condition on websites like www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk and www.bootswebmd.com

Step three

A follow-up consultation will be arranged approximately two to four weeks later

This final consultation will give you the chance to talk about how you are managing with your medicine and give you the opportunity to ask for more information and advice if you need it.

NHS New Medicine Service: What happens next?

Hopefully, you will be coping well with your new medicine and find it is helping to manage your condition. In which case, we can leave things as they are, although of course, you are always welcome to come back to the pharmacist with any queries that you may have in the future.

If you have had any problems with the medicine, the pharmacist may suggest changing the way you take it. Your pharmacist may also recommend that your doctor reviews the medicine with you, in which case they will send a note to your doctor explaining your concerns.

My medication: Other useful services

If you are taking repeat medicines for an ongoing condition such as asthma or Type 2 diabetes then it may be quicker and more convenient to use for the Free Repeat Prescription Service, either online or in-store.

This allows us to help you manage ordering your prescriptions, so that you don't need to go to your surgery every time you need a prescription. We'll also let you know when you need to make an appointment with your doctor for a review.

Pick up a Free Repeat Prescription Service leaflet in your local Boots, ask your Boots pharmacist for more information or find out more here.

If you live in Wales, find out more about the NHS Discharge Medicines Review Service, for when you've just come out of hospital.