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Reid signals repeat scripts by e-mail

Health Secretary John Reid has unveiled plans for patients to e-mail GPs with repeat prescription requests as part of the Government's agenda to increase patient choice.

The move is aimed at enabling patients who are a long way from their practice to receive their medication without having to return. Practices would send the request to a chosen pharmacist who would then dispense the drugs.

Pilots of electronic transmission of prescriptions which ended earlier this year are thought to have proven the plan is technically viable.

Full details will be revealed in a white paper later this year.

Chair of the GPC's IT subcommittee Dr Paul Cundy said the plan could increase GP workload as some patients would use the e-mails to tell GPs about other medical problems.

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