Medicines

If you are staying in hospital as an inpatient, please bring any medicines you are currently taking with you when you come to the hospital.

If your own medicines are suitable and your hospital doctor wants you to continue taking them, they will be used for your treatment while you are in hospital.

The hospital pharmacy will supply you with medicines if you run out during your stay. We will also provide you with any new medicines recommended by the hospital doctors.

Continuing your prescriptions after your stay

When you leave hospital, Boots UK at The Royal Marsden pharmacy will supply you with any medicines you need to continue your cancer treatment, and your GP will continue to supply you with medicines for any other conditions. Please be sure to contact your GP in advance to avoid running out. Please note that any ongoing chemotherapy and medicines related to your cancer treatment will be provided by the pharmacy at The Royal Marsden.

Disposal of unused medicines

Please return any unused medicines that are no longer needed to the pharmacy at your next visit so they can be disposed of safely.

Unlicensed use of medicines

Any medicines prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter from a pharmacist are licensed for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Manufacturers are legally obliged to include a patient information leaflet with their medicines and we will give this to you. However, medicines are sometimes used by hospital doctors in ways that are not specified on the product licence when there is research or experience to back up such use. This is especially true for a lot of medicines used in a cancer hospital like The Royal Marsden.

If you have any queries about your medicines and how to take them, please ask the pharmacist when you collect them or contact the medicines helpline.

Exemption from NHS prescription charges

Patients having treatment for cancer, including treatment for side effects, can apply for an exemption certificate that means they do not have to pay for prescriptions. This certificate will only apply to charges for NHS prescriptions. The certificate will cover all prescriptions, not just those prescribed for your cancer.

You will need to collect an application form (FP92A) from your GP surgery, local pharmacy or the Boots UK pharmacy at The Royal Marsden. The application must be signed by your GP, hospital doctor or clinical nurse specialist. Until you receive your certificate you will be asked to pay for your prescriptions. If you ask the pharmacy to provide you with an NHS receipt (FP57) when you pay you will be able to claim this charge back.

Certificates last for five years and can be used to their end date even if your cancer treatment finishes in that time. A reminder will be issued automatically to you and the certificate may be renewed if you are still eligible.

Find out more about pharmacy services at The Royal Marsden