From 31 October 2016 the majority of patients in East Leicestershire and Rutland will no longer be prescribed medicines by their GP if they are available over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets. These medicines will include pain killers, cough medicines, hayfever tablets and coldsore treatments.
Some patients will be exempt from this change if they have particular conditions, for example those who need paracetamol to manage chronic pain, and these people are being advised to discuss this with their GP.
Dr Richard Palin, GP and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG Governing Body Member, said: “As national and local NHS budgets are tightened, we must ensure we spend our money wisely. As a CCG we need to find £18 million in savings this year. It costs the NHS around three times as much to prescribe these medicines than it does for people to buy them at the pharmacy. By asking patients to buy medicines such as paracetamol, hayfever treatments and cold remedies from their pharmacist or supermarket, we can use the savings to fund essential health care.”
Dr Palin adds: “Other CCGs in the country have already taken this step and we would rather make this change than have to look at taking funding away from other more essential healthcare services.
“If patients find their prescriptions are discontinued but they believe they shouldn’t have been, we would urge them to talk to their GP in the first instance. If patients are still concerned about the changes they can then contact the medicines management team at the CCG.”
For more specific information and how to resolve issues see below:
Fever in children Click Here
Pain relief Click Here
Hayfever relief Click Here
Sunscreen Click Here