Steps are being taken throughout general Practice to reduce the prescribing of medications for minor ailments that can be bought at a pharmacy ‘over the counter’.
NHS England have published a leaflet for patients which explains what GPs are trying to do, encouraged by CCGs and Practice Pharmacists.
But are those promoting the non-prescribing of OTC products overstepping the mark. Should they be telling patients that they can no longer prescribe OTC products. Are they simply trying to substitute cheaper products. Are they following national NICE guidelines are using a different product which they regard as just as effective whilst still saving money. What is going to happen to small pharmacies who loose dispensing fees
In my view Practices need to be very careful about the way they introduce these changes and the words and style of language they use when doing so. Each patients case needs to be treated on its merits and reference should be made to clinical letters and recommendations made by consultants.
My understanding is that the shift to OTC products not being on prescription is not a blanket decision and GPs need to be aware of that.