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For better health and social care

What do you think about NHS plans to reduce prescriptions for over the counter medicines?


The NHS wants to reduce the number of prescriptions that are issued for over the counter medicines and has launched a public consultation to find out what people think about their plans.

Providing certain medicines on prescription is very costly so the NHS is proposing that where possible, people buy medicines for minor illnesses and short-term health conditions over the counter from a pharmacy or supermarket. A minor illness or short-term health condition is defined as "self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal of its own accord... the person does not normally need to seek medical care".

Among some of the 'minor illnesses' targeted are:

  • Acute sore throat 
  • Cold sores 
  • Conjunctivitis 
  • Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
  • Haemorrhoids 
  • Mild cystitis
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Sprains, headaches, period pain or back pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy rash
  • Oral thrush
  • Warts and verrucas

This change could also include prescriptions for probiotics, vitamins and minerals.

We'd like to know what you think about this proposed reduction in prescriptions available via the NHS before the 11 March 2018. Share your thoughts with us via our SHORT SURVEY

Click here for the full list of illnesses or for more information on the NHS consultation click here.