Prescriptions FAQs

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Information & Advice


Prescriptions FAQs

If you have questions about your prescription or the Boots One-off or Repeat Prescription Services, the information below should help.

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Prescriptions FAQs

If you have questions about your prescription or the Boots One-off or Repeat Prescription Services, the information below should help

What is an NHS prescription?

What is a Private prescription?

Who gets free prescriptions?

I live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland where NHS prescription charges are different. How does this affect Boots online prescriptions services?

What is a one-off prescription?

What is a repeat prescription?

Who can use the Boots Repeat Prescription Service?

I want to sign up to your online Repeat Prescription Service. Do I need to send you a prescription?

When will I receive my reminder to re-order?

I'm worried that I might miss my review with my doctor, or that they won't know what is happening with my medicines

Do I have to collect my medication on the day I request when I join the Repeat Prescription Service?

I am about to run out of my medicines. Can I still use your online service?

Do I need to send you a prescription?

If I choose the online service, will I be able to see a pharmacist and receive private, professional advice about my medicines?

When will I receive my medicines by post?

Can I return prescription medicines or get a refund on prescription medicines purchased?

Is my personal and prescription information safe and how will I know it won't be accessible to anyone else?

Complaints procedure

Prescription quantities

How will I know when my medicines are ready?

How do I change my order once I've placed it?

When do I pay for my prescription?

I cannot find my GP surgery in the list

What if my prescription/medicines change or I need to order a non-regular medicine?

Can I buy non-prescription pharmacy medicines online?

Can I buy non-prescription pharmacy medicines on behalf of a family member?

How will my medicines be delivered?

Can you deliver to my workplace?

Are there any items that are not appropriate for home delivery?

Can you supply overseas?

Do I need to be in for delivery of my medicines and what happens if I am out?

What if I'm on holiday or going to be away?

Why can't I get other products delivered with my prescription?

What are the delivery charges for prescriptions delivered to my home?

Problems with my home delivery prescription order


What is an NHS prescription?

An NHS prescription is issued by a National Health Service doctor. In England, you pay a set fee for each item on your prescription, unless you are exempt or hold a pre-payment certificate. The current NHS prescription medicine fee in England is £8.40. NHS prescription charges have been abolished in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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What is a Private prescription?

A private prescription is issued by a private doctor or by your GP for a medicine that is not available on the NHS. The charge for dispensing a private prescription includes the cost of the medicine and can vary. If you have a private prescription you will always be required to pay; there is no exemption.

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Who gets free prescriptions?

There are a number of people who are entitled to receive free NHS prescriptions. You can find more information by reading our guide to Prescription Charges and Exemptions. The reasons for exemption are also explained on the back of your prescription form.

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I live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland where NHS prescription charges are different. How does this affect Boots online prescriptions services?

You can use the Boots Repeat Prescription Service to order your medicines online and collect in store and still receive your prescription free in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, as long as you choose a store within your resident country.

If you want your prescriptions to be posted to you, then there will be a charge for the prescription. As our online pharmacy is based in England, we must charge the English NHS prescription charge of £8.40 per item. But this is only when you choose the home delivery option.

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What is a one-off prescription?

A one-off prescription is issued by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition where you will only be taking the medication for a short period of time. For example, this might be an antibiotic to treat an infection or painkiller to help with the pain of an injury.

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What is a repeat prescription?

A repeat prescription is issued by a doctor to treat a medical condition where you will need to be taking medication for a long period of time. Your doctor may allow you to request another prescription each time you need some more medicine without having to see them, although your doctor will request an appointment to review your medicines regularly.

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Who can use the Boots Repeat Prescription Service?

Anyone who receives regular, repeat medication and has a repeat slip from their doctor can sign up for this service as long as it is a participating surgery. If you are not eligible for repeat dispensing then please do not use this service as your doctor will not be able to issue you with a prescription.

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I want to sign up to your online Repeat Prescription Service. Do I need to send you a prescription?

No. If you're signing up to our online Repeat Prescription Service then, once you've completed your request and placed your order, we'll get in touch with your doctor and get hold of a prescription for you. Participating surgeries only.

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When will I receive my reminder to re-order?

As part of the online Repeat Prescription Service you will receive a reminder approximately two weeks before you are due to run out of your medicines, either via text or email. This is so that we have long enough to get the prescription from your doctor and dispense your medicines for you. If you use the in-store service, when you collect your medicines you will be asked if you would like to reorder any of them.

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I'm worried that I might miss my review with my doctor, or that they won't know what is happening with my medicines

This is an understandable concern, but is one that our Free Repeat Prescription Service can address for you. You still visit your doctor for your reviews and your doctor will tell us if you need to see them, so we can pass this information on to you when you collect your medicines. What you don't need to do is to keep going to the surgery to request and collect your repeat prescription.

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Do I have to collect my medication on the day I request when I join the Repeat Prescription Service?

If you arrange to collect your medicines in a pharmacy, they will be ready and waiting for collection on the day you have requested. Don't worry if you can't collect on that date, we'll keep them for you. If you need to collect your medicines before that date then please contact your chosen Boots Pharmacy so that they can arrange this for you (subject to availability).

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I am about to run out of my medicines. Can I still use your online service?

We require two weeks notice to obtain the prescription from your doctor and get your medicines dispensed and ready for you. If you need it sooner than this then please contact your local Boots Pharmacy, as our in-store service may be better suited to your needs this time.

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Do I need to send you a prescription?

If you have chosen to get your prescription dispensed via our internet pharmacy, then once you have signed up for the service, you will need to post your prescription to us before we can dispense your order. The prescription must be issued by a UK registered doctor.

The address to send your prescription to is:

Boots Online Pharmacy
FREEPOST NAT 15396
Walsall
WS1 1BR

We will normally dispatch your order within two working days of us receiving your prescription from you (subject to stock availability). Your medicines will be sent by Royal Mail 1st class recorded delivery and there is a delivery charge of £2.95. There is no delivery charge for private prescriptions if the total cost of the order is over £45. The package will need to be signed for by a person aged 18 or over.

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If I choose the online service, will I be able to see a pharmacist and receive private, professional advice about my medicines?

Our friendly in-store Boots pharmacy team can help you with a wide range of advice. If you need a private consultation with our pharmacist then our team will be happy to arrange it, including the use of private in-store consultation facilities.

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When will I receive my medicines by post?

We will notify you when we have dispatched your order. This will normally be within two working days of us receiving your prescription from you (subject to stock availability). Your prescription will be sent via Royal Mail 1st class recorded delivery, so will usually be delivered within two working days of dispatch. The package will need to be signed for by a person aged 18 or over.

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Can I return prescription medicines or get a refund on prescription medicines purchased?

Once dispatched (for delivery) or handed over to you (collect in store), we cannot accept returns or offer refunds on prescription medicines.

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Is my personal and prescription information safe and how will I know it won't be accessible to anyone else?

We will only ask you for information that is essential to enable us to dispense your prescription for you. The prescription details you enter are stored securely on our systems, and can only be viewed by Boots UK pharmacy staff and will not be visible to anyone else.

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Complaints procedure

Our aim is to provide excellent service at all times. If we fail to reach these standards or you are unhappy with our prescription service in any way, you can speak to a member of the pharmacy team. You will find the contact details on your order confirmation email.

If your concerns are not fully addressed you can tell us in one of the following ways:

  • By telephoning Boots Customer Care on 0345 070 8090
  • By emailing Boots Customer Care
  • By writing with your complaint to: Boots Customer Care, PO Box 5300, Nottingham, NG90 1AA

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Prescription quantities

It is important that the quantity you enter when ordering medicines from Boots.com matches the quantity on your prescription. If you are unsure what to enter please see the following guidance:

  • For tablets or capsules, enter the number of tablets on your prescription
  • For liquids, enter millilitres (ml) e.g. if the item you require is 200ml, enter 200 as the quantity
  • For items measured by weight, enter the number of grams (g) e.g. if the item is 10g, please enter 10
  • For multiples of a product, please enter the total quantity required e.g. if you require 5x 100ml bottles of an item, please enter 500 as your quantity

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How will I know when my medicines are ready?

If you are using our online Repeat Prescription Service, we'll let you know by phone, email or SMS message, depending on which you have chosen as your preferred method of contact, when your medicines are ready for you to collect from your chosen pharmacy or, if you've chosen home delivery, when your medicines have been dispatched.

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How do I change my order once I've placed it?

If you placed your repeat prescription order online you should contact the store that you selected to collect your medicines from. If you placed an order for a one-off or repeat prescription you should contact the Boots Online Pharmacy on 01922 649709.

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When do I pay for my prescription?

We are currently offering this service in selected Boots Pharmacies for repeat prescriptions. We will eventually be adding more pharmacies to this list so that everyone can benefit from the online service. In the meantime you may wish to contact your local Boots Pharmacy and talk to them about their in-store Free Repeat Prescription Service or, consider using our home delivery option.

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I cannot find my GP surgery in the list

If your GP surgery is a participating surgery, but you can't find details of it in the list then please enter the address manually.

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What if my prescription/medicines change or I need to order a non-regular medicine?

If your medicines change, simply contact the Boots Pharmacy from which you ordered your medicines and we can manage this for you. If you use our online Repeat Prescription Service, you can update your orders online.

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Can I buy non-prescription pharmacy medicines online?

Yes. However, when you buy some medicines on our site, including most painkillers, you will see a message telling you that you can't order any more than the maximum quantity. This is a legal requirement.

If you add a pharmacy medicine to your basket you will be asked to provide additional information in the form of a short questionnaire. This is so that our pharmacist can check that the medicine is appropriate. If there are no problems, your order will be approved and dispatched straight to your delivery address. A signature is required when the parcel is delivered.

Occasionally our pharmacist may need to contact you to discuss your order. Generally this will be about the items you have added in to your basket. For example, it might be about the amount of paracetamol, aspirin etc. you would like to order. If necessary your Boots Pharmacist will contact you by telephone or email.

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Can I buy non-prescription pharmacy medicines on behalf of a family member?

You can buy the majority of non-prescription pharmacy medicines on behalf of a family member. However, there are one or two that you can only buy for yourself. If you are able to purchase for someone else then the pharmacist's short questionnaire will ask you who the medicine is for. The details you fill in will be about that person.

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How will my medicines be delivered?

If you have chosen home delivery then your medicines will be delivered via the Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded delivery service and will usually be delivered within two working days of dispatch.

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Can you deliver to my workplace?

Yes. As long as there is someone over the age of 18 to sign for the parcel, we can deliver to any UK address.

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Are there any items that are not appropriate for home delivery?

For your safety we cannot deliver controlled drugs e.g. morphine by Royal Mail. Refrigerated lines have to be kept below a certain temperature, so these are also unsuitable for postal delivery.

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Can you supply overseas?

Sorry, we are only able to supply customers in the UK with prescriptions issued by UK registered prescribers.

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Do I need to be in for delivery of my medicines and what happens if I am out?

Professional Pharmacy guidance requires that someone over the age of 18 is in to sign for receipt of medicines, so the package will need to be signed for. If you are not in when the delivery is made then a card will be put through your door with details of where to go for collection.

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What if I'm on holiday or going to be away?

We'll make this easy for you and can order your medicines in advance or, if you've ordered a repeat prescription online, we can even arrange for you to collect your medicines from another Boots store that may be more convenient. Just contact the pharmacy with which you placed the order, whether that's our online pharmacy or the Boots store where you'll collect your medicines from, and they'll take care of it.

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Why can't I get other products delivered with my prescription?

Our prescriptions have to be dispensed from a Boots registered pharmacy, whilst other products are sent from our central warehouse. Therefore prescription medicines are dispatched separately.

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What are the delivery charges for prescriptions delivered to my home?

There is no delivery charge for NHS prescriptions. For private prescriptions, if the order total is less than £45, the delivery cost is £2.95. If the order is over £45, we will deliver your medicines for free.

Please note, if your order includes an NHS prescription and a private prescription costing less than £45 you will be charged for delivery.

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Problems with my home delivery prescription order

If you have not received your home delivery order, or if it is incomplete, please contact us as soon as possible on our local call rate number 0845 121 9040 and we will resolve any issues and provide you with the medicines you need. Unfortunately, once prescription medicines have been dispatched, we cannot offer a refund.

If you have a complaint about our service, please speak to a member of our pharmacy team. The contact details will have been on your order confirmation form. If this does not resolve your complaint, you should contact our Customer Care team, either:

  • By Emailing us or
  • By phone on 0345 070 8090
  • Or write to Boots Customer Care, PO Box 5300, Nottingham, NG90 1AA

If your complaint is still unresolved, you may wish to contact your Health Authority (you should find contact details in your local telephone directory for their contact details).

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