New medicines service

The New Medicine Service

The New Medicine Service is now available through local community pharmacies.



How will I know if I’m eligible?
You can take part in the service if you live in England and have been prescribed a new medicine for any of the following conditions: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or have been given a new blood-thinning medicine.

How do join the scheme?
When you take your new prescription to your local pharmacy, ask the pharmacist if you can take part in the service. 

What’s happens during the service?

  • When you start your medicine:
    You can talk to the pharmacist when you first start your medicine and ask any questions you many have about it.  For example, you might want to know about side-effects, or how you can fit your treatment around your lifestyle.
  • Your second appointment
    You will have a follow-up appointment two weeks later, when you and your pharmacist can talk about any issues you might have experienced with the medicine.  For example, if you are not taking it regularly, or are finding a tablet hard to swallow, your pharmacist can help you get back on track.
  • Your third appointment
    You will have your last appointment a fortnight later when you can catch-up with your pharmacist on how you are getting on with your medicine.  The service then ends, but your pharmacist will always talk to you about your medicines when you need help. 

Do I have to talk about my medicines over the counter in the pharmacy?
Any pharmacist providing the New Medicine Service must have a private consultation area.  This is a separate room where you can’t be overheard and around 85% of pharmacies have one.
All the discussions with your pharmacist can take place in person or by phone.

How long will each appointment take?
The appointments are designed to fit around you but a typical consultation will take around 10 to 15 minutes.

Do I have to pay?
No. This service is free through the NHS.

Do I have to have attend my regular pharmacy?
You might find it helpful to attend your regular pharmacy.   However, you can use the service at any participating pharmacy that has dispensed your new medicine.

Can children take part in the service?
Children can take part if they are capable of giving consent.  Consent cannot be given by a carer or parent on behalf of the child.

Where can I find out more information about the service?
Ask your local pharmacist or watch the short video about the service above.


Pharmacist and patient

What is it?

If you are prescribed a new medicine for the first time for either an existing or newly-diagnosed health problem, you may be able to get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a new free scheme called The New Medicine Service.

Lots of people find they have problems when they start a new medicine and this scheme will help you to sort them out with the help of a pharmacist, so you stay well.

Resources for pharmacists

Please visit our new medicine service resources page.

Useful organisations