On receipt of a prescription, the pharmacist will:

  • Review the prescription in the presence of the patient.
  • Ensure correct age, sex and spelling of the patient’s name and address ( for narcotics)
  • Determine time required to fill the prescription , if there is any abnormal waiting time the patient should be notified of the delay and the reasons explained e.g. if there is need to contact the prescriber as a result of a query with the prescription.
  • Check the authenticity of the prescription and the validity of the prescriber.
  • Contact the physician immediately  for clarification of any discrepancies on prescription e.g.
  • Dose/dosage
  • Strength/route/frequency
  • Significant interaction, patient sensitivity to prescribed medication, omissions and ambiguities
  • Never dispense a medication with any suspected and /or apparent discrepancy

Ideally prescriptions are written in duplicate/ triplicate hence a copy is returned to the patient with the repeat dates. In such cases where this is not done, the pharmacist will prepare a copy of the prescription where a prescription is to be repeated.


  • The copy of the prescription is retained by the pharmacist. The original prescription bearing the pharmacy stamp and pharmacist signature is returned to the patient.
  • In the case of antibiotic/ narcotic/ controlled prescriptions filled at the pharmacy, the pharmacist keeps originals and a copy returned to the patient.  

Ideally prescriptions should be filled at the pharmacy of the institution where the prescription was written.
If the medication is not available at the pharmacy, the pharmacist will stamp and sign to indicate unavailability of the medication.
In instances where this is not done the pharmacist should attempt to verify from the respective pharmacy whether the drug is unavailable. If this is not possible a two week supply is given (or this may vary dependent on the available stock of the medication at the pharmacy)


  • The pharmacist prepares the labels including:
  • The name of the institution
  • Patient full name
  • Date the prescription was filled
  • Name(generic preferably)& strength of medication
  • Directions for use
  • Pharmacist initials
  • The medication is put up and labels affixed to packages/bottles.
  • The pharmacist rechecks the medications against the prescription.
  • On dispensing the medication to the patient it is expected that the relevant pharmaceutical counselling information is provided to the patient.
  • Only the pharmacist is allowed to dispense medication.