Electronic prescriptions

Electronic prescriptions

Information for patients

What is an electronic prescription?

An electronic prescription is an alternative to a paper prescription. If you choose an electronic prescription, your general practitioner (GP) will send a ‘token’ to your mobile phone via SMS or to your email. Your token is then scanned by your pharmacy to dispense your electronic prescription. The pharmacy can then access your electronic prescription and dispense your medicine.

When using electronic prescriptions you can still visit any pharmacy you choose.

How will I receive my token?

Your GP can send you the token via SMS or email. You can also ask your GP to print out your token for you.

During your consultation, let your GP know you would prefer an electronic prescription and confirm how you would like the token sent to you. Make sure your email address and phone number are up to date at your general practice so your token goes to the right place.

There are a number of mobile apps available that can manage your tokens more easily and offer additional convenience such as the ability to order medicines from your pharmacy.

You will receive one token for each medicine you’re prescribed.

Can my electronic prescriptions have repeats?

Yes. If your GP has prescribed any repeats for your prescription, you’ll receive a new token from the pharmacy when the medicine is dispensed. Use that new token to get your repeat.

Can I still get a paper prescription?

Yes. Paper prescriptions will continue to be an option if that’s your preference. However, you can’t have both a paper prescription and an electronic prescription for the same medicine. The prescription will stay in the same form for its life (eg repeats for a paper prescription cannot be converted to tokens).

Can I take my token to any pharmacy?

You will always be able to choose which pharmacy you prefer to fill your prescription. If you receive a token for a repeat prescription at one pharmacy, you have the option of having that prescription filled at another pharmacy

Can I still get someone else to pick up my medicine for me?

Yes. Just like a paper prescription, you can give your token to a family member or other person to take to the pharmacy and pick up your medicines for you. You’ll need to forward the token to their mobile or email.

You may also be able to forward your token direct to your pharmacy, and the pharmacy may be able to home deliver your medicines. Contact your pharmacy to see if they offer this service.

What happens if I lose my token?

If you lose your token, contact your general practice. Your GP will need to issue you a new token.

If you lose your repeat token, contact your pharmacy to have your token reissued.

What is an Active Script List?

An Active Script List (ASL) is an alternative way to manage your electronic prescriptions, and it will be available to most Australians later in 2021. An ASL is a list of all your available prescriptions, including repeats, which lives in a secure online system. Having an ASL means you don’t need to keep track of tokens because the pharmacy can access your prescriptions through your ASL (with your permission).

You will be able to manage your ASL using an app. You will need to give your GP or pharmacy permission to access your ASL if you would like for them to view it or to have your medicine dispensed using the ASL.

How do I set up an Active Script List?

To set up your ASL, chat with your pharmacy. You will need to consent to the service after reviewing and agreeing to the terms and conditions. This process is called ‘assisted registration’ and supports you to make an informed choice about whether it is right for you.

Can any healthcare provider see my Active Script List?

No. A healthcare provider (such as your GP or pharmacist) can only see your ASL after you have given your consent.

If you grant access to your ASL, the healthcare provider can see all current available prescriptions.

Can I stop some medicines showing on my Active Script List?

Yes. You can ask your GP (or other prescriber or pharmacist) to exclude a prescription from your ASL. In this case, you will be issued with a token (if being prescribed electronically) or a paper prescription if that is your preference.

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information about electronic prescriptions on the Australian Digital Health Agency website. You can find more information about Active Script List on the MySL website.


The information set out in this publication is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The RACGP and its employees and agents have no liability (including for negligence) to any users of the information contained in this publication. © The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2021 This resource is provided under licence by the RACGP. Full terms are available at www.racgp.org.au/usage/licence We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and seas on which we work and live, and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and future.



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