Prescription medication

The NHS locally does carry an excellent and diverse range of medications that they are able to prescribe under the NHS label.  However each doctor in the UK has a range of medication that they are familiar with and comfortable in prescribing and this may differ from what your doctor at home would normally prescribe.  Please do not assume that you will automatically get the same medication here whether you are an international or a home country student.

In order to receive prescribed medication you will need to provide medical evidence that confirms diagnosis, what medication you are on and the dosage. You must provide this information to the medical practice when you register.

To receive medication prescribed by a doctor or other professional medical practitioner go to the chemist (pharmacy) who will give you the medication on receipt of the prescription. There are three prescription dispensing chemists in St Andrews:

  • Dears Pharmacy at St Andrews Community Hospital, Largo Road
  • Boots The Chemist, Market Street
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Largo Road

There is no charge for NHS prescriptions in Scotland.

Don't leave it until the last minute to replenish your prescription. There may be a delay in obtaining certain medication.

If you have been prescribed medication from a Doctor in another country, you may be unable to get this in the UK.  If you are an international student, discuss your move to the UK with your home doctor and check that your medication is licenced for the UK. If necessary you should also discuss alternative treatment in the UK if you can't get your medicine here and where possible change to the UK version whilst still being monitored by your home doctor.  This will ensure a seamless transition when you arrive in St Andrews.

If you wish to change to a UK medicine under the supervision of your new doctor here in St Andrews, you should bring at least three months supply of any medication you are on.  If you do not envisage being back home from time to time, then bring enough medication to see you through to that visit home - up to a maximum of six months will be allowed by immigration authorities as long as you have a letter of permission from your home physician and have satisfied any import license requirements - please see UKVI for further advice. Please do not wait until you have nearly ran out of your medication before meeting with a doctor here in St Andrews as there can be a delay in obtaining certain medication.

Although you can bring in a limited supply of medication with you when you enter the UK, it is important to note that your UK doctor cannot supervise medication prescribed by a doctor in another country.  Please also note that it is illegal to have prescription drugs mailed to you in the UK from any country.

If you are on regular medication and have met with your doctor at either Pipeland or Blackfriars, you can set up an online repeat medication request.  This will save you having to come up to the community hospital to hand in your repeat prescription slip.  Simply complete the online form for the practice you are with (Pipeland or Blackfriars) and follow the instructions - it normally takes about 14 days to activate your account.  Once registered, you can download the app for either iOS or Android and you can also request which pharmacy you would prefer when picking up your medication.

If you require any further information, please contact the Student Health Hub on 01334 465777.

Travel medication

In the event of requiring a vaccination, each medical practice at the St Andrews Community Hospital run ‘Travel Clinics’ where you can get the appropriate vaccinations for the country you are travelling to. Please complete the form for your registered practice (Pipeland/Blackfriars) and hand in to the reception at least six to eight weeks prior to travel. There is a charge for some vaccinations.

For more information please see Travel Health and Vaccinations.