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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1974 June; 24(143): 425–431.
PMCID: PMC2157383

Repeat prescribing via the receptionist in a group practice *


As concern has been expressed about danger to patients, a survey about repeat prescribing via the receptionist was carried out in a group practice.

About one quarter of the prescriptions in the study period were `receptionist repeats' and these were compared with a group of repeat prescriptions obtained in the course of consultation. The receptionist repeat group contained a higher proportion of the over 65s, and relatively more men than women, though the consultation repeats and the group as a whole, were heavily biased towards women. Hypnotics and drugs to relax bronchial spasm were found more commonly among the `receptionist repeats.'

This group of patients tended to have been taking their medication for a significantly longer period than their consultation fellows, often for more than five years. Although categorised as `receptionist repeats,' two thirds of these patients were seen by a doctor more often than six monthly. No direct evidence of any serious danger or disadvantage to the patients was found.

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