Health in my language provides a national platform to host translated health information.
The service offers information on treatments, NHS services, Health Rights, Screening and healthy living in over 10 languages.
You can get medicine from a pharmacist (chemist) in an emergency, subject to some conditions.
You must have been prescribed the medicine before by a doctor, dentist or other prescriber registered in the UK. It must be a medicine that you need to take on a regular basis. Also, the pharmacist:
will usually need to see you face-to-face
must agree that you need the medicine immediately
be satisfied with the dose you need
The pharmacist may provide an emergency supply of up to 30 days’ treatment for most prescription medicines, with some exceptions:
the pharmacist is unable to make a supply of any Controlled Drugs
Whether to supply, and the amount of medication the pharmacist supplies, is entirely at the pharmacist’s discretion.
Is it an NHS service?
If you are registered with a GP in Scotland and are requesting a supply of medicine from a pharmacy in Scotland, then there is a service provided by NHS Scotland to cover these situations in the majority of cases. This also means you will not have to pay for your supply.
If you are not registered with a Scottish GP, supplying medicine in an emergency is not funded by NHS Scotland so pharmacists can charge for what they supply to you. The charge will vary, depending on the medicine and the pharmacist’s policy on making an emergency supply.
If you are registered with a Scottish GP but requesting medication outside of Scotland, then you will have to pay for the medication provided.
Getting your medicine or a prescription
You may be able to get your medicine or a prescription in one of the ways below:
see a local GP and ask for a prescription if there is a GP surgery open.
ask a local pharmacist if they can provide an emergency supply of your medicine. Pharmacists may be open when GP surgeries have shut — for example, evenings, weekends and public holidays.
outside GP hours you may be able to get a prescription from an out-of-hours service by phoning NHS 24 first provided you are located somewhere in Scotland.
Visitors to the UK
In an emergency, some visitors to the UK can get medicine from a pharmacist. For example, the pharmacist may provide an emergency supply:
at your request, if a doctor or dentist registered in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland has prescribed the medicine for you before. A list of EEA countries can be found on the Scottish Government website.
at the request of a doctor or dentist registered in the EEA or Switzerland
if you have a prescription from a doctor or dentist registered in the EEA or Switzerland
However, this arrangement does not apply to medicine prescribed by other EEA or Swiss healthcare professionals, such as nurses, and it does not apply to all medicines. For example, pharmacists cannot provide an emergency supply of:
medicines that don’t have a UK marketing authorisation
Also, the pharmacist may not be able to provide an emergency supply of medication if the prescription is written in a language they cannot speak.
It is illegal for pharmacists to supply medicines based on prescriptions issued outside the UK, the EEA or Switzerland. For example, prescriptions issued by doctors in the US and Canada.
Finding a pharmacy
You can use the Local Health Service Directory on NHS 24 to find a pharmacy near you. This directory will also have opening times of the pharmacy, including for weekends and public holidays.