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NHS England Consultation on over the counter medicines

Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: A consultation on guidance for CCGs

NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and NHS England have launched 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.

(Please see attached summary of Healthwatch Camden's survey for the previous 'over the counter medicines' ​consultation which ran during summer 2017, 'Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: A Consultation on guidance for CCG's', ​which contributed to a further Healthwatch England survey).

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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.

We want to encourage everyone who is interested to participate in the consultation and we have organised several engagements events to provide more information on the consultation and process.

Information and registration instructions are provided below and we would be grateful if you could share this information throughout your network.

Face to face

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

Webinar’s

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

This information will also be available on the consultation webpage; https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/over-the-counter-items-not-routinely-prescribed/