About Dispensing Practice

Dispensing doctors are general practitioners (GPs) who provide primary healthcare to nearly nine million (8.7m) UK rural patients. Nearly 3.6 million of these patients live remotely from a community pharmacy; at the patient’s request dispensing doctors are allowed to dispense the medicines they prescribe for these patients.

Only certain patients are eligible to receive dispensing services from a dispensing doctor; in total, around 7% of all prescription items are dispensed by doctors.

The unique benefits of the dispensing doctor service are that it provides access to medicines and general healthcare under one roof.

The DDA has produced a briefing paper for NHS commissioners in England, summarising the key points about dispensing practice. Papers for Scotland and Wales will follow in due course.

Please click on the links below to find out more about dispensing practice.

Dispensing practice in England: a briefing paper for NHS commissioners: high res version; low res version

Standards in dispensing practice

Prescribing safeguards

Current challenges in Dispensing Practice

Dispensing Doctor Data 

Dispensing Doctor Myth Buster