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Prescribing of over the counter medications is changing Posted on 26 Feb 2019

 

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

 

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