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NHS England Consults On Freeing-Up £136m To Boost Frontline Nhs Care By Curbing Prescription Costs

19/01/2018

NHS England has launched a public consultation on proposals to rein in prescriptions for some 'over the counter' products such as dandruff shampoo and drops for tired eyes, freeing-up up to £136 million to expand other treatments for major conditions such as cancer and mental health problems.

Ending routine prescribing for minor, short-term conditions, many of which will cure themselves or cause no long term effect on health, would free up NHS funds for frontline care. The consultation does not affect prescribing of items for longer term or more complex conditions or where minor illnesses are symptomatic or a side effect of something more serious.

Over-the-counter products currently prescribed include remedies for dandruff, indigestion, mouth ulcers and travel sickness. The NHS each year spends:

  • £4.5m on dandruff shampoos – enough to fund a further 4,700 cataract operations or 1,200 hip replacements every year.
  • £7.5m on indigestion and heartburn – enough to fund nearly 300 community nurses.
  • £5.5m on mouth ulcers – enough to fund around 1,500 hip replacements

If patients were to self-care for these three conditions alone, it would save the NHS £17.5 million... read more

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