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eScript (electronic prescription)

6-minute read

Key facts

  • An eScript is a digital prescription your doctor can use to prescribe you medicine.
  • An eScript is an alternative to a paper prescription. It is convenient for people who travel regularly and safe for everyone to use.
  • Your doctor will send the eScript to you by SMS or email.
  • You will receive a link to a token that you take to a pharmacist to get your medicine.
  • An Active Script List (ASL) is a digital list to help you manage your eScripts.

What is an eScript (electronic prescription)?

An eScript, or electronic prescription, is a digital version of a paper prescription that your doctor can use to prescribe you medicine. It allows the prescribing and dispensing of medicine without the need for a paper prescription.

How is an eScript different from a paper prescription?

The main difference is how you receive the prescription. Instead of receiving a piece of paper, you will receive a digital token sent from your doctor by SMS or email.

What are the benefits of an eScript?

An eScript saves you time and makes the process of getting your medicine easier and safer. It removes the risk of losing or damaging a prescription and reduces prescribing and dispensing mistakes.

An eScript makes it more convenient to pick up your prescription wherever and whenever you are ready.

You can forward your eScript directly to the pharmacy so you can pick up your medicine later. If your pharmacy offers delivery, your medicine can get sent to your home. You can also forward your eScript to a trusted person like a family member or carer who can pick up your medicine for you.

How does an eScript work?

If you want an eScript, you will need to ask for one during your doctor (or other prescriber) appointment.

Your doctor will send you a link by SMS or email. The link has a unique QR code, known as a digital 'token' — this token is your prescription to take to a pharmacy. Your token will get scanned by the pharmacist, so they can access your prescription and give you your medicine.

You will receive one token for each medicine you are prescribed. Make sure your doctor has your correct email address or phone number, so your token goes to the right place.

If you have a repeat prescription, the pharmacist will send you a new token for it by SMS or email. The next time you need your medicine, you will need to show the pharmacist the new token. If you would like a paper prescription for your repeat, you can ask the pharmacist to print one for you.

Your doctor can also cancel an eScript or resend it if you accidentally delete it.

Can all medicine get prescribed using an eScript?

Most medicine can get prescribed using an eScript.

How do I get an eScript to my pharmacist?

You can take your token to a pharmacy as you normally would a paper prescription. You can also forward your token directly to a pharmacy, and the pharmacist will get your medicine ready for you to collect or delivered to your home if this service is available.

You can also forward your token to a trusted person so they can collect your medicine.

Can I use an eScript at any pharmacy?

You can take your eScript to any pharmacy that is set up to dispense medicines using eScript, and most are.

How can I manage my eScripts?

You can choose to manage your eScripts using a mobile app. Your local pharmacy may have developed their own app you can use. Ask your pharmacist for more information.

You can also choose to manage your prescriptions using an Active Script List (ASL).

What is an Active Script List (ASL)?

An ASL is a digital list of all your eScripts. It allows you to manage your prescriptions by storing all your tokens in one place. This can be helpful because you won’t have to keep track of each token.

An ASL can be a handy option if you take more than 2 medicines. You won’t need to show your token every time you need your medicine.

If you choose to use an ASL, you will need to register for one — ask your pharmacist how to do it. Once you have registered, you won’t need to keep track of each eScript. You can walk into any participating pharmacy and give consent for the pharmacist to access your ASL. The pharmacist can then give you your medicines.

Resources and support

eScripts and ASL are new technologies. If you need more information on them, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Read more here:

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Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2023


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