Firstly, some disorders respond well to modern medicine but its still important to diagnose them correctly and give the correct treatment. Its also important to monitor them periodically to ensure the treatment is still being effective and that a change in medication dose or type isn't needed.
Secondly, as everyone knows, modern medicines can cause side-effects. You should have a discussion with the doctor about any likely problems when you are prescribed new medication. You should know something about the treatment and any problems to watch for.
In NZ, the pharmacy can dispense up to a 3 months supply of most long-term prescriptions, then you need to produce a new prescription if you need to continue this treatment.
If for any reason you need the prescription the same day, you can ask for an "urgent" repeat prescription which will be ready by 4pm. There is a small extra charge for this.
We can fax your prescription to a pharmacy if you wish (the pharmacy will not process a prescription faxed to you and handed to them). We need to know the name, address, and fax number as the original copy has to be posted. There is a small extra charge for this.
If you have an on-going prescription, once the condition you take medication for is stable, its often okay to ask for a repeat prescription every 3 months without seeing the doctor.
We cannot supply you with repeat prescriptions if you havent seen one of the doctors here about that medication before (for example, if it was supplied by a hospital, or some other doctor).
Finally, you should see the doctor once a year to make sure that there isn't anything new about your medication or condition that you need to know about, and that there isn't anything you should be telling someone about. Its not about the doctor trying to get money out of you, the Health & Disability Commissioner has tested this issue and advises us that annual review is a basic standard of care.