Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) was introduced in July 2009 as a non-compulsory method of dispensing prescriptions electronically.

From April 2019, as stated in the GP contract, eRD became a contractual obligation for all patients where it is clinically appropriate and the patient consents.

  • eRD means patients who regularly get the same medication and don’t need to contact their GP practice every time they need a repeat prescription. This provides greater efficiency for practices and patients whilst enabling the pharmacy to manage the patient’s clinical care.
  • Once a patient has been identified as suitable for eRD, the prescriber will review and synchronise all of their current medication. The prescriber will create a batch of prescriptions for a set length of time which is then digitally signed using their smartcard pin.
  • All issues within the batch are sent immediately to the Spine. All prescriptions are linked by the same barcode, but they are all separate issues. The duration between each issue is set in the clinical system and is dispensed at those intervals by the nominated pharmacy.
  • Good communication between all parties is essential.

Please see below for a number of resources, which will enable practices to take advantage of the benefits eRD may offer.

Useful resources

NHS Digital:


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Page last updated 13 January 2022