Practices have saved more than £100 million a year through the introduction of electronic prescribing, according to a new analysis.
Practices, dispensers, patients and the NHS have all made big savings from the system, according to the NHS Digital analysis.
The analysis of three years of the system found the NHS saved £130 million over the period – and patients some £75 million through the prompt dispensing of medications.
On average practices have saved more than two and half hours a day in the issuing and signing of repeat prescriptions, researchers found.
They have also made time savings through not having to locate paper prescriptions or re-print those that are lost.
Luvjit Kandula, of the Leicestershire and Rutland local pharmaceutical committee, said: “Electronic Prescription Service allows more time to prepare prescriptions in advance particularly when electronic repeat dispensing is adopted.
“As further work is being planned to improve uptake of EPS and repeat dispensing, this will further improve the patient experience and free up more time for clinicians to focus on medicines optimisation and service delivery.”
A spokesperson for NHS Digital said: “The time savings that EPS offers the average GP practice, allows staff to have more time to care for patients, particularly during the winter months when there is more demand for their services.
“Additionally with more people falling ill over the winter period, EPS can help patients get their medication quickly and reduce the need for pharmacists to ring the GP about prescription queries.”