Patients stand accused of wasting GPs' time as it is revealed many fail pick up prescriptions from pharmacies.
Of the 2,000 patients surveyed, almost 33% failed to collect medication prescribed by their GP.
While most patients said they "didn't have the time" to pick up prescriptions, others said they didn't want to have to pay for the medication; they would rather get better by themselves; and rather more disappointingly, they simply "couldn't be bothered".
Furthermore, 34% of patients on regular medication also admitted to "forgetting" to pick up repeat prescriptions.
"Given the ever-increasing pressure on the NHS and on primary care in particular, it is disappointing to discover that patients who have taken the time and trouble to visit their GP do not complete the episode of healthcare by having their prescription filled," said Julian Harrison, Commercial Director at Pharmacy2U – commissioner of the survey.
"Particularly worrying are the numbers of patients on repeat prescriptions who regularly forget to pick up medication and run out. Among them are people suffering from serious, long-term complaints such as diabetes, asthma and COPD, where compliance is crucial."
One in eight patients surveyed owned up to losing a prescription in the past, while nearly 60% had found the same treatment cheaper over the counter.
"Those on repeat scripts should be reviewed on a six-monthly basis. Yearly is too long for a review! Should patient not attend for a review then no script should be issued. Those unable to make decisions should have an advocate be it a relative or friend communicating to the practice on thir behalf. Any noble pharmacist should inform those paying for scripts that it may be more efficient to purchase the item OTC" – Celine Barr, Northern Ireland