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How long does it take for a prescription to be ready?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

We know how it is – not knowing how long your prescription takes can be a real pain. Especially if you’re due to run out of your existing medicine, or you’re about to go on holiday and need to stock up. 

In this article, we’ll break down how long it usually takes for a pharmacy to prepare your prescription, and how you can get notified your prescription is ready online.

How long for prescription to be ready in the UK?

When you request a prescription there are two stages it must go through before you can collect it. 

First, your prescription request will be processed by your GP to ensure that the medication is appropriate for your condition. Assuming they’re happy for you to continue taking your medicine, they’ll send your request on to the pharmacy – this process usually takes 2 working days. 

Once your pharmacy has received your prescription request from your GP surgery, it will be checked again by the pharmacist and then prepared for you to collect or have delivered to you. The time this takes depends on your nominated pharmacy, with some being faster or slower than others, but your prescription will usually be ready within 2-5 days.

Pharmacies that use Healthera can notify you via the app when your prescription is ready for you, making it easier for you to know when you can go and collect the medicine you need. 

You can download our app to find a pharmacy near you that uses Healthera, and start requesting your prescriptions online in a few simple clicks. 

Frequently asked questions about prescriptions

How long does it take for a prescription to be ready at the pharmacy?

Prescription wait times can vary. Your prescription will usually be ready within 2-5 working days, but this can depend on the type of medication, and the pharmacy’s workload.

What is the typical waiting time for a prescription in the UK?

The typical waiting time for a prescription in the UK varies depending on factors such as the pharmacy’s workload and the type of medication. Generally, it ranges from 2 to 5 working days from the time the pharmacy receives the prescription request from the GP.

Why is it important to know the turnaround time for a prescription?

Knowing how long it usually takes your pharmacy to prepare your prescription can help you plan ahead, so you’re never at risk of going without your medication.

A photo of a white and green prescription bag containing a "prescription only" medication.

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