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Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care

This consultation is now closed.

NHS England is launching a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns.
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In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569million on prescriptions for medicines which can be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy and other outlets such as supermarkets.

These prescriptions include items for a condition:

  • That is considered to be self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal of its own accord;
  • Which lends itself to self-care, i.e. that the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical care but may decide to seek help with symptom relief from a local pharmacy and use an over the counter medicine. 

Vitamins/minerals and probiotics have also been included in the consultation proposals as items of low clinical effectiveness which are of high cost to the NHS.

This consultation started on 20 December 2017 and closes on 14 March 2018. 

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01/06/2018