Changes to how the NHS prescribes ‘over the counter’ medicines for minor health conditions

NHS England shared information about reducing the prescribing of medicines or treatments that can be bought over the counter.

The information says that stopping the routine prescribing of these medicines will save the NHS around £100 million.

 

Our Plans in Buckinghamshire

In Buckinghamshire, we spent over £1.5 million in 2017/18 on prescriptions that could have been bought over the counter.

So, we are the reducing the amount we spend on around 35 different medicines and treatments for minor conditions and ilnesses.

These usually sort themselves out without any treatment or by treatments that can be bought over the counter.

We want to free up resources so we can spend them in other areas.

 

What does it mean for you?

We are asking you to buy the following items yourself. They can be bought quite cheaply from a pharmacy or supermarket:

  • Acne treatment
  • Analgesic/pain relief treatment (short term pain, fever, headache, muscle/joint injury)
  • Anti-fungal treatment (athlete’s foot, oral and vaginal thrush, ring worm)
  • Antiperspirant treatment (excessive sweating)
  • Cold sore treatment
  • Colic treatment
  • Constipation treatment
  • Cough, cold and sore throat treatment
  • Diarrhoea treatment
  • Ear wax remover
  • Eye treatments (Conjunctivitis/ dry eyes)
  • Haemorrhoid (piles) treatment
  • Hayfever treatment
  • Head lice treatment
  • Herbal and complementary treatments
  • Homeopathic preparations
  • Indigestion and heartburn (dyspepsia) treatment
  • Mouth ulcer treatment
  • Nappy rash treatment
  • Scabies treatment
  • Suncream
  • Threadworm treatment
  • Topical steroid treatment (insect bites/stings, contact dermatitis, nappy rash)
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Wart and verruca treatment

 

You will still be prescribed these medicines if you:

  • Need long term treatment e.g. paracetamol for arthritis
  • When the medication cannot be sold due to the product licensing regulations e.g. steroid nasal sprays for children

 

Speak to your pharmacist for advice on treating minor problems e.g. coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete’s foot. They will always tell you if you need to see a doctor.

Patients who need these drugs in regular quantities can continue to get them on prescription.

If you visit your GP who then recommends you buy the treatment, please remember they are following national guidance.

 

NHS choices has lots of information and advice on treating minor health problems with self-care

www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/home-remedies-for-common-conditions/

Find out more about the conditions for which over the counter medicines will no longer be prescribed at:

www.england.nhs.uk/medicines/items-which-should-not-be-routinely-prescribed/