The NHS has announced a list of medicines that will no longer be available on prescription from the end of May 2018, in a bid to cut down on spending. It was announced in March that over-the-counter remedies such as those used to treat nits, mild constipation, sunburn and minor burns will be banned from prescriptions.
It makes sense as a cost-cutting move really, especially when you consider that almost all of the items, from anti-dandruff shampoo to eye drops and paracetamol, are much cheaper than the prescription charge. It will of course affect those of us eligible for free prescriptions, but it’s perhaps a small price to pay to keep the NHS afloat.
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These changes are hoped to save a whopping £100 million a year, because as well as the cost of the item itself, there are other costs to consider with prescriptions, including administration charges, delivery and shipping. NHS England has reported that a pack of 12 anti-sickness tablets, which retail at around £2-£3 at pharmacies, can cost more than £35 to the NHS when prescribed.
Official figures this year revealed that the service spend around £80m on aspirin and paracetamol alone, with each prescription costing £3.07 compared to 20p in shops. A further £3m is spent on athlete’s foot and similar infections, which could instead fund 810 hip operations.
Here’s the complete list of the medicines which will no longer be prescribed from the end of the month:
- Acute sore throat
- Infrequent cold sores of the lip
- Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
- Cradle Cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)
- Infant colic
- Mild cystitis
- Mild irritant dermatitis
- Diarrhoea (adults)
- Dry eyes/sore (tired) eyes
- Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
- Head lice
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Infrequent constipation
- Infrequent migraine
- Insect bites and sting
- Mild acne
- Mild dry skin
- 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
- Travel sickness
- Warts and verruca
What do you think? Would you ever have considered asking for these items on prescription?