Children Collecting Medicines From A Pharmacy

Quick reference guide

Pharmacists may be asked to supply dispensed medicines to a child for themselves, on behalf of another person, such as a parent, other relative or neighbour, or for persons whom they care for.

The decision on whether a supply is appropriate will need to be dealt with on a case by case basis and will involve considering the individual circumstances.

If in doubt about whether the supply of the dispensed medicines is appropriate or not consider the following factors.

Knowledge of the child

Is the child known to the pharmacy? What information is known?

Maturity of the child

Is the pharmacist satisfied the child is capable and competent to understand the importance of the medicines they are collecting and are you satisfied there are no further concerns with them delivering the medicines.Is the pharmacist confident the child will not misuse or tamper with the medicine?

Nature of the medicine(s) supplied

What are the medicines being collected? Is there any applicable misuse potential? An example of this could be requests for laxatives which can be used for to lose weight inappropriately. 

Prior arrangement

Does the child regularly collect medicines from the pharmacy? Is the collection by the child pre-arranged by the patient?

Reason for collection

Is there a good reason why the child is collecting the medicine in the circumstances? For example is collection on behalf of a patient who has mobility problems or is the child expected to self-medicate such as with an inhaler, is the child/young person a carer for the patient?


Does the patient require counselling? How will this be given? If the patient is the child, are they able to understand? 

Local policies

Are there any local policies which you should consider in your pharmacy or your local area?

Proof of identity

In some circumstances, such as with the supply of schedule 2 controlled drugs, the pharmacist will usually ask to see identification of the collecting patient or representative. Children may not have ID to show and professional judgment can be used to decide if a supply is appropriate without identification.


Where to go for further information

THE CARERS TRUST provides support for young carers


  • Protecting children and young people
  • Cough and cold products for children 
  • Professional judgement