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Pharmacists and GPs could be told not to prescribe more than 3,000 treatments for common conditions

NHS England is proposing to stop GPs and pharmacists prescribing products for common conditions, including thrush, cold sores and constipation.

More than 3,000 commonly prescribed products for conditions including thrush, cold sores, constipation and haemorrhoids, could be recommended not to be prescribed in primary care, if proposals from NHS England are implemented.

The NHS England Board today approved plans to consider the prescribing future of 3,200 products, which also include treatments for acne, warts, and athlete’s foot, a move which it says could save the NHS up to £100m a year.

NHS England also wants to stop the routine prescribing of 18 products that are considered to be “relatively ineffective, unnecessary, inappropriate or unsafe for prescription on the NHS”, and currently cost the NHS £141m each year. They include oxycodone and naloxone, glucosomanine and chondroiton, and doxazosin modified release.

NHS England national medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, said any savings made would be used to fund other services to “beef up the therapeutic muscle of the NHS”.

More to follow.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203245

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