Wonder what happens when you place a prescription?

Wonder what happens when you place a prescription?

When you fill a script for an antibiotic to finally knock that infection on the head, it can be easy to think that being a Pharmacist is as simple as grabbing a box from the shelf, adding a label and calling out your name.

But the sobering fact is, that if the Pharmacist doesn’t follow a range of processes when they dispense your script the outcome can actually be deadly.

So what happens after you hand that script across the counter?

The first thing that should happen is the Pharmacist or Dispensary Assistant will check the details of the script including your name, address, Medicare number and any relevant concessions with you in person.

With that complete, your prescription is then entered into a software program, which is a legal requirement. This program keeps a history of medications dispensed and submits data to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Then the Pharmacist looks closely at what the drug is that is being dispensed. They will check any dispensing history, any other medication that you are taking, check the dose and in the case of a child calculate the appropriate dose relative to your child’s age and size and check this against the Doctor’s instructions.

The label is then created by the software and any repeats on your prescription are also generated.

For most medication, it will then be a matter of taking it from the shelf, double checking again that it is correct and adding the label. For children, many medications come as a liquid that needs to be mixed by the Pharmacist which is why these can take longer.

With everything complete, the Pharmacist will make one final check that everything is correct before calling your name.

When you come to the counter they will often ask if you have taken the medication before, have allergies to any medication, run through how the drug needs to be taken, highlight anything you should be mindful of and any potential side effects. They may also ask about other medications or supplements you are taking.

The time taken, and the questions asked are such an important part of making sure that you end up with the right medication, at the right dose. So, with our busy lives, the question remains, is there any way to make it faster?

Short answer is, when it comes to the process, no – but with a bit of planning and few helpful hints, you can reduce the time waiting and make the process as streamlined as possible (see our tips on this page).

The important thing to remember is that it is imperative that the Pharmacist follows these steps to ensure either your ongoing wellbeing or a speedy recovery.

To know more you can always talk to our friendly staff.

Our Tips

  • If you take regular medication each month, find a convenient Pharmacist that you can see regularly so they get to know you and have your details on file;
  • Consider downloading a pharmacy app like MedAdvisor. These allow you to upload a photo of your script and have it dispensed and waiting for you when you arrive (you will still need to show the original and wait while the paperwork, such as repeats, are put together);
  • Leave your medication repeats at the pharmacy so your prescriptions can be processed ready for collection once ordered by phone or a pharmacy app;
  • Talk to the staff to see if there are things you can do


The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.

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