Thursday 19 October 2017

Online service offering cut-price pill prescriptions sparks concern

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

A NEW online prescription service for women who use the contraceptive pill has been launched – offering a cut-price consultation fee.

However, the move by the Lloyds Online Doctor website sparked concern as patients who avail of it will no longer see a doctor face-to-face.

It means women who want to receive a repeat prescription, which they can take to a pharmacist, can now get a script online for €25.

This contrasts with the normal GP fee of round €50. They still have to pay for the contraceptives when they get the prescription filled.

The service allows a woman to order a prescription for a six-month course of her contraceptive pill by completing a confidential online assessment.

Lloyds Online Doctor said that its service involved fully registered doctors assessing the patient's request, and that criteria needed to be met before the prescription is delivered.

Medical director Dr Tom Brett, said: "There is no need to wait for an appointment, queue in a busy surgery or miss time from work just to renew your prescription.

"You can now order from the comfort of your own home, at the office, or even on the move."

A survey carried out in advance of the launch revealed that women often find it difficult to make appointments during the working week due to their busy schedules, and consider attending the GP surgery a hindrance on their time.

Irish Independent

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