Consultation launched on plans to rein in prescriptions

A consultation on proposals to “rein in prescriptions” for a number of OTC products, such as dandruff shampoo and drops for tired eyes, has been published by NHS England.

It is hoped that these proposals would help free up £136 million to expand other treatments for major conditions such as cancer and mental health problems.

Views are being sought on stopping the routine prescribing of a list of medicines relating to 33 minor conditions, as well as on probiotics and vitamins and minerals. The products have been chosen because they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They treat a condition which is self-limiting and therefore does not require treatment
  • They treat a condition which could be managed by self-care, i.e. a person suffering does not normally need to seek medical care
  • They have low clinical effectiveness but high cost to the NHS, e.g. vitamins/minerals and probiotics

The proposals would not affect the prescribing of items for chronic conditions or minor illnesses that are symptomatic or a side effect of something more serious, NHS England said.

Interested parties have until 14 March 2018 to respond via the public consultation on the NHS England website

PSNC has announced it will publish its consultation response in due course, as it may help inform the responses of LPCs and pharmacy contractors to the consultation.

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