Dispensing tokens (issued by dispenser)

Dispensing tokens (issued by dispenser)

EPS dispensing token 2 featured imageTokens that require printing

There are two types of dispensing tokens which require printing:

  1. Where token to be taken to another pharmacy (e.g. out of stock): Where a prescription has been sent to a patient’s nominated pharmacy but that pharmacy is unable to fulfil the order, for example because they are out of stock of an item, if the patient wishes to go to another pharmacy, the electronic prescription would have to be released back to the Spine by the nominated pharmacy and a dispensing token printed so that the patient can access the electronic prescription at another Release 2 enabled pharmacy. In the same way as with paper prescriptions, all items on the prescription would have to be returned to the spine in this scenario so that they can be accessed by another pharmacy, not just the out of stock item.
  2. Exempt other than age / ‘Paid’ patients: Where the patient has nominated a pharmacy and is not age exempt with the patient’s date of birth contained within the electronic prescription, a dispensing token will normally need to be printed to collect the patient’s exemption declaration or where the patient pays for their prescription charge. If the patient has been given a prescription token by the prescriber, this can alternatively be used to collect the exemption declaration.

Optional printing

Dispensing tokens may also be printed in other scenarios, for example if this is requested by the patient or to support the communication of supplementary clinical information to the patient. Tokens contain patient identifiable information so care should be taken in how they are disposed of.

Local NHS England teams are responsible for providing community pharmacies with Form FP10DT, free of charge, to use to print the token. This form is white in colour and is in the same style as other NHS prescriptions. As the dispensing token will not be signed by a prescriber, it is not a legal prescription and therefore Form FP10DT does not need to be stored securely. It will be important for LPCs to discuss local arrangements for the distribution of the forms with local NHS England teams to ensure that arrangements are efficient and manageable.

Sending tokens to the Pricing Authority

The dispensing token (or prescription token) should be sent to the Pricing Authority where it has been used:

  • to capture the exemption signature (where this applies to a reason other than age); or
  • because the patient has paid a charge.

Such tokens are sent for audit purposes only, because pricing is made against electronically submitted R2 messages and the exemption category applied to the electronic prescription.

See here for further information.

Disposing of tokens 

Contractors are not required to keep those tokens which do not need to be sent to the Pricing Authority. These can therefore be disposed of in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the pharmacy team’s processes.

Ordering dispensing tokens 

Primary Care Support England (PCSE) deliver various stationery for community pharmacies – including EPS dispensing tokens. Use their online portal to request tokens. If required there is an escalation procedure.

Contingencies if dispensing tokens cannot be used

Consider token contingency options.


Q. Can dispensing tokens be reprinted?
Yes. Dispensing tokens can be re-printed, for example if there was a problem with the printer whilst printing the initial copy. The re-print will be an exact copy of the original.

Q. Will I need a specific printer for printing tokens?
Your pharmacy system supplier will be able to provide guidance on hardware requirements. As a minimum a 600dpi mono laser printer is required. This must be able to handle the size and weight of the prescription token stationery. Dual bin printers are recommended.

Other FAQs

Q. My NHS England Area Team has provided me with dispensing tokens. The form is coded FP10DT0407. I’ve noticed that Box H states ‘gets income support (IS)’ whereas the normal FP10s state ‘gets income support (IS) or income related employment and support allowance (ESA)’. How should a person claiming income related employment and support allowance’ (ESA) complete the back of the FP10DT0407 form?
A. The FP10DT0407 dispensing tokens were originally produced in 2007 and the reverse of the form was correct at that time. A new form was developed in June 2008 (FP10DT0608) to reflect changed to the exemption arrangements.

The old version of the dispensing token will remain in circulation until the forms are used up. People who are included in an award of income-related Employment and Support Allowance and who need to complete an exemption declaration on an old form should tick box H “*gets Income Support” to claim free prescriptions.

Q. My pharmacy system is configured to automatically print tokens when a legal NHS electronic prescription is received; this is regardless of whether the token is required to collect the patient’s exemption declaration or not. What should I do with the waste tokens?
A. It is possible that some pharmacy systems will be configured to automatically print tokens for all nominated prescriptions, for example, so that the token can be used to support accuracy checking following the preparation of prescribed products. Tokens contain patient identifiable information so care should be taken in how they are disposed off, for example the waste paper should be shredded within the pharmacy. Ifthe token is handed to the patient, after dispensing, as a reference of what was prescribed, the patient should be reminded that they cannot take the token to another pharmacy to have it dispensed.

Q. Can a prescription/dispensing token be processed by a Release 1 system?
A. No. Release 1 dispensing systems will not be capable of scanning barcodes on Release 2 prescription/dispensing tokens.

Dispensing token

Related resources

EPS tokens

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