Primary care minister Jo Churchill announced the move on Saturday (19 October) saying it would make staff and patients’ lives easier.
The electronic prescription service (EPS) roll-out follows testing involving 60 GP surgeries and hundreds of pharmacies.
Almost 70% of all prescriptions are already being prescribed and dispensed through EPS and the government says there has been positive feedback from GPs and pharmacies.
Once the roll-out of the final stage is completed, nearly all prescriptions will be sent electronically.
A unique prescription barcode will be given to patients, which can be scanned at any pharmacy to retrieve medication details.
This information is held on the secure NHS database and will allow a patient’s prescription to be accessed quickly by GPs and pharmacies.
According to the department of health and social care, EPS will save the NHS £300 million by 2021 through increasing efficiencies, reducing the amount of paper processing required and reducing prescribing errors.