• Text size
  • A
  • A
  • A
For better health and social care

Proposed New Legislation on Prescriptions for Over the Counter Products


NHS England has launched a Consultation Report which aims to rein in over-the-counter prescriptions for short-term conditions, to allow sums of money to be used for more serious conditions such as hip and cataract operations. It would also be used to increase the number of community nursing staff and to enhance the role of the pharmacist in frontline care. You can find the report here.

Remedies for scalp conditions are costing the NHS £4.5m every year; indigestion - £7.5m, and mouth ulcers - £5.5m. If patients were to self care on just these three conditions alone, the NHS could save £17.5 million annually, allowing funds to be diverted elsewhere. The consultation will not affect prescriptions for chronic (long-term) conditions or where a minor illness is symptomatic, or a side effect, of something more serious.

NHS England and Clinical Commissioners have worked closely with GPs, Pharmacists and patient groups to develop and refine the list of conditions where restictions could apply, as well as exceptions. However, they want to encourage everyone who is interested to participate in the consultation and have organised several engagements events to provide more information. 

A consultation meeting will be held in London on the 5 March from 2-4pm - more information and booking instructions can be found here. The NHS will also be holding a consultation webinar on the 21 February - to find out more, click here.

The consultation closes on Wednesday 14 March 2018.