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NHS England Consultation - Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care

A consultation on guidance for CCGs

Status: CLOSED
Published: 23 Jan 2018 00:00
Source: NHS England

NHS England is launching a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns.

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 low clinical effectiveness which are of high cost to the NHS.

NHS England has partnered with NHS Clinical Commissioners to carry out the consultation after CCGs asked for a nationally co-ordinated approach to the development of commissioning guidance in this area to ensure consistency and address unwarranted variation.

For further information or to provide feedback please contact Wendy Preston.


For further information or to provide feedback please contact Wendy Preston.