The NHS has issued guidance on medical conditions that are no longer treated by prescriptions. In an effort to save the money it spends on treating minor ailments, patients are instead advised to go to their pharmacy or supermarket to find suitable over-the-counter treatments instead.
She published a list of 35 conditions for which doctors no longer issue prescriptions. However, many people are unaware of this decision and still make an appointment to see their GP just to get these standard items.
The NHS says it has to make tough choices about how best to spend taxpayers’ money and explained: “By reducing the amount the NHS spends on treating these minor health issues, the NHS can prioritize treatments for patients with more serious illnesses like cancer and mental health issues.”
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NHS England has compiled a list of conditions or illnesses which will no longer be treated by prescription, following a public consultation which ran from December 2017 to March 2018.
Here are the 35 conditions that NHS doctors won’t prescribe medicine for.
- Acute sore throat
- Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
- milk crust
- Diarrhea (adults)
- Dry eyes/tired and sore eyes
- Excessive sweating
- Indigestion and heartburn
- infant colic
- Infrequent cold sores of the lip
- Infrequent constipation
- Infrequent migraine
- Insect bites and stings
- mild acne
- Minor burns and scalds
- Mild cystitis
- Slightly dry skin
- Slightly irritating dermatitis
- Mild to moderate hay fever
- Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort, and fever (for example, body aches and sprains, headaches, menstrual pain, back pain)
- mouth ulcers
- Nappy rash
- oral thrush
- Prevention of tooth decay
- Ringworm/athlete’s foot
- Teething/mild toothache
- Travel sickness
- Warts and warts
There are exceptions – some patients may still be prescribed medication for a listed condition for various reasons, such as a long-term condition (such as chronic arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease), in cases where over-the-counter medication is not effective, treating side effects of a prescription or the prescriber deems a patient unable to treat themselves.
Also, it has been announced that probiotics and certain vitamins and minerals will no longer be routinely prescribed as most people can get them through healthy eating or can purchase their vitamin pills from a supermarket or health food store.
The NHS said: “A GP, nurse or pharmacist will not usually give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.
“This is due to government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions to treat minor ailments which usually get better on their own.
“Before these changes in 2018, the NHS was spending around £569 million a year on prescriptions for drugs that could be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol.”