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35 common health conditions GPs will no longer issue a prescription for

Published on 24/05/22 at 10:19am

The NHS has published a list of 35 conditions that no longer require a prescription from a GP. These include conjunctivitis, back pain, indigestion, and threadworms.

Patients are advised to go to their pharmacy or supermarket to identify suitable treatments.

This list is intended to encourage people to use over-the-counter medicines purchased out of their own money, enabling the health service to save money it currently spends on dealing with drugs and prescriptions for more minor medical problems.

The NHS explained: “By reducing the amount the NHS spends on treating these minor health conditions, the NHS can give priority to treatments for patients with more serious conditions such as cancer and mental health problems."

GPs will no longer prescribe medication for 35 minor conditions, following a public consultation performed by the NHS. The health conditions include acute sore throat, conjunctivitis, coughs, colds and nasal congestion, and haemorrhoids, among many.

The NHS has specified that the guidance does not apply to people with long-term or more complex conditions who will continue to get their usual prescriptions, as well as in cases where over-the-counter medicine does not prove effective.

The NHS said: "A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.

"This is because of government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions for treating minor conditions that usually get better on their own.

"Before these changes in 2018, the NHS spent around £569 million a year on prescriptions for medicines that can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol."

Lina Adams

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