Echo: Making Prescriptions Stress Free

Written by Alice Bethan Thomas . Illustrated by Alice Rose Bolton

Written by Alice Bethan Thomas . Illustrated by Alice Rose Bolton

When you’re sick, the easiest tasks become impossible.

This year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that affects my joints and makes walking difficult. This condition also impacts my anxiety, particularly when I have to leave the house. I never know how long I have before the pain flares up and becomes unbearable, and when my anxiety and stress levels are high, the pain is also likely to increase as well.

This makes running simple errands like requesting a repeat prescription from my doctor and then collecting it from the pharmacy a few days later quite the mission. I’d have to plan a trip into town twice in one week, and because of the distance I’d probably need to use a bus or a taxi both days for most of the journey, which is a luxury I can’t really afford.

I’m also disastrously unorganised and forgetful, something else I can blame on the fibro. More often than not, I don’t get my prescriptions in on time and run out of medication. At the moment I’m on a pain medication that is working – I can walk further and feel less drained in general. If I miss a dose, I could risk losing the progress I’ve made these past few months and end up unable to move from my sofa again.

A lot of doctor’s surgeries now have great online systems for booking appointments and requesting prescriptions, but you do still need to collect the medication from a pharmacy in person.

Then I found Echo.

Echo is an app approved by the NHS for you to order medication and have it delivered to your home free of charge. I received my first delivery from them recently, and it has so improved my life incredibly. The stress over medication is gone.

After downloading the app, I entered my medications by scanning a barcode or searching the database and then selecting how many days I had until my batch ran out.I had to create a profile, which included details about my doctor’s surgery. If my profile and medication didn’t match my details, Echo would not have been able to deliver. Also, all prescriptions must be approved by your doctor before they are dispatched.

Once your profile is finally set up, renewing and paying for your prescriptions takes a few simple clicks. The app has features that will alert you when you’re close to running out and when you need to take a dose. You can even register to order prescriptions for a family member.

It didn’t take too long for my first request to be approved. After it was dispatched, it arrived in plenty of time. As promised, the packaging was discreet and ordinary-looking, and it even had a note inside reminding you to recycle. Eco-friendly companies are the best! Did I also mention that delivery is free?!

As with any technology, it can have its issues. For instance, my app did not update when I received my delivery as it was supposed to. However, the support team were prompt in replying and dealing with the issues. I’m very grateful that a service like this exists for people who rely on medication and struggle collecting it. Echo claims to be simple, secure and convenient, and so far it has truly delivered.