In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569m on items available OTC.
The NHS is asking we reduce our prescribing of these items. If there is a reduction in spending on treating conditions that are self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care, or on items where there is little evidence of clinical effectiveness, resources can be used for other higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients, support improvements in services and/or deliver the transformation that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.
NHS England (NHS E) has produced guidance on prescribing in primary care of items which are available OTC for the treatment of conditions which are self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care.
The guidance ‘Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care is found below: