In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569 million 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 limited clinical effectiveness which are of high cost to the NHS.
The NHS each year spends:
•£22.8 million on constipation – enough to fund around 900 community nurses
•£3 million on athletes foot and other fungal infections – enough to fund 810 hip ops
•£2.8 million on Diarrhoea – enough to fund 2912 cataract operations
Other over-the-counter products currently prescribed include remedies for dandruff, indigestion, mouth ulcers and travel sickness. Each year the NHS also spends 4.5 million on dandruff shampoos, £7.5 million on indigestion and heartburn, and £5.5 million on mouth ulcers.
Staines Health Group fully support the NHS England campaign to ensure NHS resources are used appropriatley. For further information please see the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/OTCmedicines or leaflet - Mecicines available to buy at the pharmacy