Children Collecting Medicines From A Pharmacy

Pharmacy guide

This guide is to help you with requests from children to collect dispensed medicines. Requests from children can be for themselves or someone else, such as a parent, relative, neighbour or for a person they care for.

Pharmacists will need to decide on each request based on the individual circumstances. The following factors will help you to exercise your professional judgement. 

Knowledge of the child

    • Do you or the pharmacy team know the child?
    • Do you know their circumstances, and why they are collecting medicine(s)?
    • What else is known about this request?

Maturity of the child

    • Is the child capable and competent to appreciate the responsibility and importance of the medicines they are collecting?
    • Do you have any concerns about the child delivering the medicines?
    • Are you satisfied that the medicines will not be misused or tampered with?

Nature of the medicine(s) supplied

    • What is the medicine that is being collected?
    • Can the medicine be misused? For example, Controlled Drugs or laxatives. 

Prior arrangement

    • Does the child usually collect medicines from the pharmacy?
    • Is there an arrangement in place for this child to collect medicines for themselves/others, for example has this been previously discussed and agreed with a parent/guardian/representative (and recorded appropriately)?

Reason for collection

    • Are you satisfied that the reasons for the child collecting medicines are appropriate?
    • Is the person who the medicine is for housebound or unable to collect for an acceptable reason?
    • Is the child/young person a carer for the person that the medicine is for?
    • Is the child expected to self-medicate, such as with an inhaler?

Advising on the use of medicines

    • Does the person that the medicine is for require any additional information? How will this be communicated?
    • Would the child understand any important information and are you confident these instructions will be passed on to the person the medicine is for?
    • Do you need to consider contacting an appropriate adult if special instructions for use are required? 

Local policies

    • Is there a local policy in place in your area?
    • You could contact your local Primary Care Organisation (CCG, LHB, HB etc.)
    • Does your organisation have a policy on children collecting medicines? Is there an SOP in place?
    • Consider making appropriate records.

Proof of identity

    • Collecting Schedule 2 Controlled Drugs require proof of identity which children may not have. You can use your professional judgement on making a supply without ID.


Where to go for further information

THE CARERS TRUST provides support for young carers


  • Protecting children and young people
  • Protecting vulnerable adults 
  • Professional judgement