NHS bans common items from prescriptions

The NHS has recently banned some “over the counter” remedies in a major cost-cutting plan. NHS England officials have ruled that items such as paracetamol, cold treatments, cough mixture, eye drops, laxatives and sun creams are among a range of products that will not be routinely prescribed.

This is part of proposals to rein in prescriptions for medicines for some minor conditions, and has received “broad support” in a public consultation

This move will save the NHS millions of pounds every year.

More than 60% of respondents to the consultation agreed that over-the-counter products should not be prescribed for a range of minor conditions, board papers show.

The changes will not affect prescriptions for long-term or complex conditions, or where minor illnesses are a symptom of something more serious.

Vulnerable patients will also continue to receive prescriptions for over-the-counter items, provided they are proven to be effective.

Treatments for constipation, cold sores, conjunctivitis, mild indigestion, dandruff, haemorrhoids, infant colic, minor burns and scalds and minor pain conditions such as headache and backache are among those which will not be routinely prescribed.

Remedies for mouth ulcers, nappy rash, ringworm, athlete’s foot, head lice, mild toothache, travel sickness, and warts and verrucae have also been dropped, as well as some vitamins and minerals.

Some of the products were available for purchase over the counter at a lower cost than that which would be incurred by the NHS.

The prescription changes could free up almost £100 million for the health service, the body added. NHS England spends £22.8 million every year on constipation treatment, £3 million on athlete’s foot and other fungal infections, and £4.5 million on dandruff shampoos.

The move follows a vote in November to remove homeopathy, herbal remedies and supplements from the prescription list as part of a review of “wasteful” prescriptions.

List of conditions affected by NHS prescription crackdown

Acute sore throat

Infrequent cold sores of the lip

Conjunctivitis

Coughs and colds and nasal congestion

Cradle Cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)

Haemorrhoids

Infant colic

Mild cystitis

Mild irritant dermatitis

Dandruff

Diarrhoea (adults)

Dry eyes/sore (tired) eyes

Earwax

Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

Head lice

Indigestion and heartburn

Infrequent constipation

Infrequent migraine

Insect bites and stings

Mild acne

Mild dry skin

Sunburn

Sun protection

Mild to moderate hay fever/seasonal rhinitis

Minor burns and scalds

Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/fever. (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain)

Mouth ulcers

Nappy rash

Oral thrush

Prevention of dental caries

Ringworm/athletes foot

Teething/mild toothache

Threadworms

Travel sickness

Warts and verruca

If you need a pharmacy over the Easter period, check out this list of Pharmacy opening times.

https://ormskirklive.com/2018/03/18/easter-opening-times-for-pharmacies-in-ormskirk-and-skelmersdale/

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